Within the last two decades, health care has evolved from being just a national affair to being a global concern. In other words, the health care of any nation is not left to the hands of her medical sector alone but is now a cause for international and global attention. Based on this, the global health care sector as a whole has witnessed an unprecedented increase in the demand for medical supplies, including drugs and medical equipment. Although there are noticeable differences in the quality of health services in health sectors of different nations, the need for medical equipment is universal.
Particularly, the universe has suffered several chronic diseases within the last decade, and this has affected the global health sector as far as demand is concerned. As of 2020, the global medical equipment supply industry was reported to be USD132.6 billion. The industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.6% within 2020 and 2025. The dominant players in the medical supplies industry are countries in North America as well as Europe. The health care segments with the greatest demands include wound care, IVD, infection control, respiratory care, urology and cardiology, among others. In 2018, the United States alone exported $21.7B worth of medical supplies. They were trailed by Germany ($15.5B), Netherlands ($9.51B), Mexico ($8.9B), and China ($7.17B). The same countries are still at the forefront of medical equipment importation.
In Nigeria, the medical equipment supply industry still has lots of room for improvement. The industry fails to cater to the 200 million plus people in the country but there are indications that it will grow as high as US$184.4 million by 2022 at a CAGR of 9%. Some of the challenges golding back the Nigerian medical device industry are low production and difficulty in importing quality medical supplies.
Despite these seeming barriers, however, the industry holds promise for interested persons. If you’re planning to start a medical equipment supply business in Nigeria or any other part of the country, here is a detaoled guide for you.
What Is A Medical Equipment?
A medical equipment refers to any device or tool used in the healty care industry. It spans across equipment used in everyday wound care, urology, IVD, tests, scans, cardiology, and many others.
What Is A Medical Equipment Supply Business?
A medical equipment supply business encompasses the process involved in supplying quality and approved health care tools to hospitals, clinics, maternity centres and other health care units.
Business Opportunities In Medical Equipment Supply Business In Nigeria And Around The World
1). Distribution And Delivery Services:
The basis of the medical equipment supply business is founded on distribution and delivery. To successfully operate a medical equipment supply business, you need to enlist the services of trusted able-bodied individuals with some knowledge of medical items, the purposes and the delicateness involved.
2). Exportation And Importation:
Especially in developing countries of the world where there is little or no internal production of medical, investors in this business invariably depend on imported materials to operate their business. Based on this, the exportation and importation of medical supplies also creates another significant opportunity for expert large-scale importers and/or mini-importers.
Facts And Benefits Of Medical Equipment
- Reprocessing and reusing medical equipment as safe and effective as using a completely new one.Battery-powered medical equipment have been found to last longer and give better performance.
- Reusing medical equipment is an eco-friendly option, and it saves resources.
- Most medical equipment are available for lease.
- The ‘Single Use’ sticker put on most medical equipment is intentionally put there by the manufacturers for business purposes, and not necessarily for the safety of the patients. Once the equipment are well sterilised or recycled, they arw safe to use again.
- Medical devices aid early diagnosis of chronic ailments.
- Some medical devices use 5G network or WiFi to help health care personnel monitor the status and progress of their patients.
- Medical equipment makes telemedicine possible and easy even for people in small rural communities.
- Medical equipment has advanced the healty sector as a whole, especially with the advent of AI technologies.
- Unprecedented breakthroughs and achievements in the medical industry have become possible, thanks to medicak equipment.
- Medical devices help adequate data collection for research and further inventions.
- China, Mexico, the USA, Netherlands and Germany are some of the biggest exporters of medical equipment across the world.
- Medical equipment help to have costs.
- They give better and quicker test results.
- They improve management of long-term chronic diseases.
Types Of Medical Equipment
1). Laboratory Equipment:
These are the equipment and devices used for analysis of blood, urine, genetic traits, etc. in laboratories and clinics. They include hematology analysers, urinary analysers, and blood collection tools, among others.
2). Diagnostic Equipment:
Diagnostic devices are used specifically to evaluate the health status of a patient and to check for health problems. Examples are stethoscopes, Xray machines, Ultrsound, etc.
3). Treatment Equipment:
These are the tools and devices used to treat patients of diseases and ailments. They also include the devices used in surgical operations. Examples are the precautionary suoplies such as gloves, gowns, etc. and treatment tools such as surgical machines, syringes, trays, and several others.
4). Durable Medical Equipment:
The durable medical equipment are devices used by special recommendation for patients with certain healty conditions. The tools are meant to make it easy for patients to live with or adapt to the situation until they are completely treated of the condition, if possible. Examples are crunches, insulin pumps, kidney machines and wheelchairs, among others.
5). Life Support Equipment:
Life support equipment are slightly different from durable medical equipment because the conditions here and long-term, incurable or deadly. They help to keep some systems or parts of the patients functional. Examples include inhalers, incubators, valve masks, etc.
How To Start A Lucrative Medical Equipment Supply Business In Nigeria: A Step-By-Step Guide
1). Draft A Functional Business Plan:
Creating a business plan helps you organise your plans, focus, ideas and target for the business. It is also the point when you decide on which niche of medical supplies to focus on.
2). Get A Company Site:
Whereas most of the medical equipment supply business is largely based on distribution and delivery, you will need an office site that will also serve as your storehouse where you can store supplies and take an inventory of them before delivery.
3). Stock Up:
This is the point where your knowledge of the maedicao supplies market comes to play. You will have to network with international producers of medical equipment to get quality equipment at favourable prices.
4). Employ Staff:
It is advisable to enlist the services of trained personnel who have a background knowledge of medical supplies, especially for the technical roles of sorting, handling and taking inventory of supplies.
5). Register Your Business:
It is necessary to register your medical equipment supply business with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and secure an operational license from the Directorate of Health Services, Ministry of Health, or your state medical board.
6). Network With Health Institutions and Personnel:
Having fully set up your business, it is time to make people and institutions in the healty sector aware of your business. You could run local ads in addition to networking with healty workers, clinics, laboratories, pharmacies, hospitals, etc.
Challenges Of Medical Equipment Supply Business In Nigeria
- High startup cost
- The medical equipment supply business requires a lot of networking to be successful.
- Insufficient loan structure for medical equipment suppliers.
- Difficulty in accessing the international market for quality products
- High taxation on imported goods.
- Medical supplies require extra care and hygiene practices
- Failure to meet the teeming demands for medical supplies
- Delayed shipping and delivery from international suppliers
- Hidden costs and taxes
- Unfavourable health policies
- Insufficient government support
- Poor road network for interstate deliveries
To Sum It Up
Medical equipment are the 20th most traded products all over the world. This speaks volumes about the high demand, especially given the fact that health care is a basic need for human survival. The medical equipment supply business in Nigeria can be a lucrative and profitable venture to start-up, due to its vast market demand and on your ability to build a wide network. If you’re looking for a lucrative business to venture into, the medical equipment supply business in Nigeria is a great option to explore.
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