Conferences & Expos

Brazil poised to enter world stage for medical device manufacturing

By Jay Franco
Middle East Health correspondent for the Americas


The land of football and the samba rhythm is now well poised to enter the prestigious group of top 10 exporters of medical devices and equipment in the world. To give this move an added impetus the Brazilian medical industry has launched a new brand to promote the country’s healthcare manufacturing sector – Brazilian Health Devices. At the forefront of this new drive is the highlighting and marketing of the quality and reliability of Brazilian medical products.

The Brazilian medical trade organisation, ABIMO (Associaçao Brasileira da Indústria de Artigos e Equipamentos Médicos, Odontológicos, Hospitalares e Laboratoriais), represents more than 300 Brazilian medical device, dental device, hospital equipment and laboratory companies. During the past 12 years ABIMO has made significant progress in helping these companies expand their horizons globally. During this period the medical device sector has grown by 320% (in billing receipts) – from R$2 billion (about US$1.25bn) in 1999 to R$8.4 billion in 2010.

Afonso Medeiros, former president of ABIMO, told Middle East Health during an interview at Hospitalar expo in São Paolo in May this year, that medical device exports from Brazil reached US$633 million. Looking at current trends, he forecast this would increase to US$1 billion by 2015.

In a speech delivered at the Hospitalar expo in São Paolo, ABIMO president, Franco Pallamolla said: “We are convinced that by 2020 Brazil will be one of the five largest manufacturers of medical, hospital and dental products in the world.”

The Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brazil) works in partnership with ABIMO and is responsible for the strategic promotion of Brazilian exports and for attracting foreign direct investment. It is currently focussed on taking a large variety of Brazilian goods to an increasing number of foreign markets.

In recent years it has been remarkable to see the tremendous growth in the number of Brazilian firms participating at major international medical fairs, such as Medica, Arab Health, FIME and Hospitalar. This has led to a marked growth in the number of medical-related exports.

Commenting on Brazil’s growing international presence, Mauricio Borges, business director, Apex-Brazil, said: “Visitors to these events have the opportunity to see that Brazil is able to provide creative solutions adapted to the needs of the most diverse customers worldwide.”

Among emerging healthcare markets such as China, India, Mexico and Turkey, Brazil is the second largest producer of medical technology.

According to Reinaldo Guimarães, Science, Technology and Strategic Inputs (SCTIE) secretary of the Health Ministry: “The health equipment sector has been growing at more than 7% per year since 2003 and is forecast to keep going up.” SCTIE is primarily responsible for facilitating technical cooperation among states, municipalities and the Federal District, with the governmental and non-government organisations, aimed at scientific and technological development in health.



Middle East Health visited the manufacturing plants and offices of several companies in Brazil which have had success exporting healthcare products to the Middle East. It was very interesting to note the high level of quality control and Research and Development that these companies have been maintaining. Some of these companies included:

Fanem: Founded in 1924, the company manufactures neo-natal, laboratory and hospital products. It was the first Brazilian company with products certified within the the Brazilian and International Electrochemical Commission standards, and also the first company to obtain Brazil’s GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices). It exports to some 90 counties including Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and the UAE and maintains exclusive representation agreements that include technical assistance and on-site maintenance.

Ortosintese: This is one of Brazil’s leading companies with more than 33 years of experience in the production of orthopaedic implants. It also manufactures surgical tables and disinfection equipment (autoclaves, thermo disinfectors). With a leading market share in South America, Ortosintese exports to Iran, Egypt, Cyprus, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Yemen in the Middle East among other regions of he world. Its products are of high quality, using advanced technologies and are certified by several national and international organisations.

Baumer SA: This is the largest implant manufacturer in South America. Baumer is dedicated to the development of solutions, equipment and services for medical and dental environments. Since its inception in 1952, the company trades in implants, substitutes of osseous grafts, non-metallic biomaterial, sterilisation, laundry, surgery and water products. It is also a leading manufacturer of orthopaedic prostheses in Latin America.

Hospitalar 2011

Another highlight of Middle East Health’s visit to Brazil was the annual Hospitalar – the premier healthcare and medical equipment fair in Latin America. It was held in São Paolo from 24-27 May 2011. Around 1,250 medical trade exhibitors from 34 countries exhibited and some 90,000 professionals participated at the show.

Hospitalar is recognised as an important business platform for global medical suppliers and key medical buyers, and is an important forum for Brazilian and foreign leaders to discuss new concepts in healthcare management and other points of interest.

Two new events were announced at the Hospitalar show – Expo Enfermagem (for nursing products), and Reabilitação (for rehabilitation products.)

Waleska Santos, MD, president of Hospitalar, told Middle East Health: “We want to meet the demands in the areas of nursing and rehabilitation as well as offering enhanced visibility to each one of the show’s sectors.”

Medical tourism

World class hospitals have been built in several Brazilian cities, which are sought after not only by Brazilians, but also increasingly by patients from neighbouring Latin American countries. Some of these hospitals include:

Hospital Alemão Oswaldo Cruz was founded by a group of German immigrants in 1897. It has grown into one of Brazil’s leading hospitals. It is accredited by Joint Commission International (JCI) and the Telemedicine for the Mobile Society certification.

Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein was founded by the Jewish community 56 years ago and is well known in the country for providing high quality services. In 1999 it was the first health institution outside of the United States to be recognised by the Joint Commission International (JCI), and is known for its success in highly complex procedures.

 Date of upload: 15th Aug 2011


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