Latin America’s per capita expenditure on healthcare triple to that of China
According to the guest panel of WorldCity’s Third Annual Healthcare Forum held on November 18, 2016, for businesses that serve the healthcare sector, Latin America offers opportunities that are yet to emerge in the United States. The panel included Daniel Salvadori, senior vice president, Latin America, in Abbott’s Established Pharmaceuticals Division; Alfredo Granai, formerly president at DePuy Synthes Latin America and Alejandro Infante, founder of Procursum Medical, a supplier of medical devices, services and operational solutions focused on Latin America. Government regulations in many Latin American countries are driving demand for healthcare outlays, though the financial market weakness is reducing the ability of some governments to fund initiatives. Latin America’s per capita healthcare spending is triple that of China, yet the market is fractured by differences in economic development, culture, language, and even in health. For instance, the rate of respiratory diseases is higher in Peru due to pollution and smoking, while women’s health is a faster-growing business in Colombia, as more women enter the workforce. Some governments in Latin America are not allowing prices for single-use medical products to rise as fast as their currencies have been devaluing. The ability to bring innovation is much greater in Latin America because there are fewer barriers. With more cell phones than people in Latin America, there’s a huge opportunity to reach out to patients, but in rural areas people do not have access to secondary or tertiary care hospitals. A cluster of medical device makers in Mexico and Costa Rica supply the US market.