Honduras - Country Commercial Guide
Healthcare Technologies
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The healthcare industry’s medical devices and supplies sector, estimated at $128.1 million in 2022, has consistently provided good prospects for U.S. exporters in Honduras. The market is price sensitive and highly dependent on imports, and U.S. medical products enjoy high receptivity among local healthcare providers due to brand recognition and perception of high quality. As one of the top suppliers, U.S. exports of medical devices have experienced an estimated 25 percent growth during the last three years.  Imports of pharmaceutical products have also experienced a positive trend, at an estimated $600 million in 2022. In September 2023, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved a $150 million loan to strengthen and expand the hospital network in Honduras. The program seeks to improve the effectiveness and access to specialized maternal and child hospital services, care for injuries of external causes and noncommunicable diseases.

Among the top country suppliers are also the European Union (particularly Germany) and Japan. In the pharmaceutical sector, top suppliers include the U.S., Germany, and Mexico. Although Honduras remains a key market for U.S. exporters in Central America, there is significant margin for improvement in its healthcare system and regulatory frameworks are still being consolidated.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) governs the sector, coordinates all health-related activities, sets health priorities, and charts the course of development efforts in the public and private subsectors. Product registration is handled through the Sanitary Regulation Agency (ARSA). As part of the U.S.-Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR), most medical equipment, devices and pharmaceuticals enter Honduras duty-free, provided a U.S. certificate of origin is presented to Honduran customs.

After the Government of Honduras (GOH) eliminated the trust fund that had been used to procure medicines for public hospitals, doctors and public-health officials are reporting critical shortages of even the most basic medicines at Honduras’ public hospitals, leading them to ration care.  The Ministry of Health is planning an emergency procurement to improve its supply of some medicines, but a Ministry of Health official estimates that it will take at least nine months to rebuild the required procurement infrastructure.

Table: Medical Devices Market Size (million USD)

Table: Medical Devices Market Size (million USD)
Medical Devices2020202120222023 (estimated)
Total Local Productionn/an/an/an/a
Total Exportsn/an/an/an/a
Total Imports112.0122.2128.1127.1
Imports from the US49.
Total Market Size112.0122.2128.1130.5
Exchange Rates (USD1.00/HNL)L24.73L24.25L24.68L. 24.70

Units: USD millions

Source: OTEA; Central American Economic Integration Secretariat – SIECA

Leading Sub-Sectors

Leading sub-sectors in the healthcare industry representing best prospects for U.S. exporters include:

  • Medical Technologies (Devices)
  • Consumables
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Clinical Chemistry and Diagnostics
  • Eldercare; Rehab
  • Health IT


In addition, a growing demand for externally caused injury (ECI) care is currently exceeding the installed capacity of the public health services network, resulting in high investment costs at health facilities and hospitals that treat emergencies. The prevalence of transmissible and infectious diseases also has an impact on public health spending, which is approximately 4 percent of GDP.

Among the best prospects for medical equipment and supplies are the following products: emergency medical devices; patient monitoring systems; laboratory supplies; orthopedic and fracture appliances; surgical and anesthetic instruments; consumables; surgical instruments and appliances; oxygen and fracture appliances; syringes; electro-diagnostic apparatus; basal metabolism and blood pressure apparatus; parts and accessories for electrocardiographs.

International technical and financial cooperation plays a pivotal role in the Honduran economy and in the success of efforts to combat the COVID-19 health crisis, as well as within the framework of the Poverty Reduction Strategy and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). External financing, including external grants and loans, accounts for approximately 18 percent of the total budget. Some of the largest health non-reimbursable project funds have come from multilateral organizations such as the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI), World Food Program, EU, United Nations Development Program (UNDP), and U.S., Japanese, and Swedish cooperation agencies. Reimbursable project funding has been sourced by the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), Spanish International Cooperation Agency (AECI), and the World Bank.

Conditions related to the respiratory and digestive systems coexist with chronic degenerative conditions such as cancer and cardiovascular disease. In recent years, ECIs have risen and are one of the country’s most pressing public health problems and a leading cause of years of life lost due to premature deaths, followed by chronic diseases and complications during childbirth and neonatal deaths. Hondurans increasingly suffer from diabetes, circulatory system diseases, vascular disease, malignant neoplasm (uterine, breast, skin, stomach, ovarian cancer), influenza and pneumonia, hypertension, chronic renal insufficiency, intestinal infectious diseases, and metabolic/nutritional diseases, among others. Vector-borne diseases (such as dengue) are still prevalent. Opportunities exist for technologies that avert or reduce incidences of these types of diseases, which also have a significant impact on healthcare expenditures. A persistent obstacle is the country’s healthcare model which has an emphasis on recuperative care, and only a very limited preventive health component.

The weakness of the health information system in capturing epidemiological surveillance, health services, and vital statistics data is also a serious challenge in Honduras. Improvements are also needed in capacity building for public health regulation and enforcement, as well as in human resources development and training in the Public Health system.


Trade Events: FIME (June 19-21, 2024 / https://www.fimeshow.com/en/home.html) in Miami, Med trade (March 27-28, 2024 / www.medtrade.com) in Atlanta, and the AACC Clinical Lab Expo (July 28 to August 1 / https://meeting.aacc.org) in Chicago.

Procurement: Government tenders in Honduras’ procurement system are listed through the National Procurement Information System: https://www.honducompras.gob.hn/

The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) supports the implementation of various procurement processes in Honduras’ healthcare sector, specifically for medicines and surgical devices. Additional information is available at https://www.unops.org.

Additional resources:

Ministry of Health (SALUD)



Emergency Preparedness Commission (COPECO)



U.S. Commercial Service Contact:

Name:                 Assunta Garcia      

Position:             Commercial Assistant

Email:                 Assunta.Garcia@trade.gov