Peru - Country Commercial Guide
Medical Devices
Last published date: 2022-08-17


Peru is the eighth-most populous country in the Americas, with a population of 32 million and an average life expectancy of 76.7 years.  The government’s spending reflects its attempts (pre-COVID-19) to develop an enhanced health sector.  Peru’s 2022 budget included $5.5 billion for the health sector, a 6% increase from the budget allotted in 2021.  However, recent developments have proven this gravely inadequate, and the sector remains poorly resourced.  Peru’s health budget is one of the lowest in South America; the average investment in health is only 4% of GDP.   In addition, its fragmented health system makes coordinated policy implementation difficult.  Peru was one of the hardest hit countries in South America during the COVID-19 pandemic, leading the world in deaths per capita and laying bare the severe inadequacies of the Peruvian healthcare system, which was utterly overwhelmed. 

Peru’s human resources for health are also low.  The WHO recommends 45 health workers per 10,000 persons.  Peru has 32 for every 10,000 persons; most are in urban areas, especially Lima.  There is an estimated one doctor for every 390 habitants and one nurse for every 368 persons nationwide.  There are only two intensive care unit beds for every 100,000 persons and 700 intensive care physicians.  According to the Ministry of Health (MINSA), the deficit of specialist doctors countrywide is significant. 

Peru’s healthcare sector has five main entities: (1) MINSA is the primary publicly funded healthcare provider, serving 60% of the population through a network of public hospitals and clinics.  In addition, MINSA offers Seguro Integral de Salud (SIS), the main publicly funded insurance; (2) EsSalud, the national social security program, financed by payroll taxes and providing services to 30% of all Peruvians; and serving the remaining 10% of the population are the (3) Armed Forces, (4) National Police, and (5) the private sector.  The Superintendency of National Health also acts as the industry’s supervisory and regulatory body.  The Government of Peru states that improving the healthcare system is one of its top priorities.  Medical services have improved as the nation developed rapidly over the past two decades; however, a disparity in coverage remains between Lima and the country’s rural Andean and Amazonian regions.  In recent years, the national social security agency, EsSalud, has inaugurated two public-private partnership hospitals and will continue to build new hospitals under this process.

Market Entry

Under the PTPA, medical devices/equipment and pharmaceuticals enter Peru duty-free.  However, the importer must present a U.S. certificate of origin to Peruvian customs.  In addition, U.S. companies must register their products in Peru by partnering with a local distributor who can register through the General Directorate of Drugs, Supplies and Medications/Dirección General de Medicamentos, Drogas e Insumos (DIGEMID).

A sanitary registration is required to sell medical equipment and devices.  MINSA, through DIGEMID, is the healthcare authority that regulates the importation of medical equipment and devices.  For medical devices, it is mandatory to name a local distributor or representative since DIGEMID issues the registration to the Peruvian company.

Aside from obligatory registration, working with a local distributor is beneficial due to Peruvian preferences to buy locally from someone who can provide after-sales services.  In addition, U.S. manufacturers should maintain close contact with end-users and provide training and demonstrations so that end-users can familiarize themselves with the equipment.  Both public and private hospitals purchase new medical equipment, although used medical equipment is only permitted for individual physicians to buy for their personal practice.

To succeed in the Peruvian market, U.S. firms should offer competitive pricing.  Peruvian buyers prefer modern technology with post-sales solid technical and parts support.  All marketing materials and product information should be in Spanish.


Over the past few years, Peru has made some progress in improving healthcare infrastructure, expanding access to care, and modernizing public institutions, with the stated goal of universal coverage.  However, there remains a strong need for facilities and trained personnel to improve health outcomes in areas of inadequate access and care.  This phenomenon exists in rural areas and the lesser served areas in big urban centers.  In addition, there is still a requirement for mobile and temporary clinics, chatbots, ventilators, oxygen, specialized treatment medicines, and personal protective equipment due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and future disease outbreaks.

A growing middle class is increasingly turning to the private sector for healthcare and has higher expectations of healthcare providers.  With about 2 million people aged 65 or older, the demand for quality elder care and treatment for cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes is increasing.  In stark contrast to the public system, the private healthcare sector has been particularly dynamic, having experienced significant growth in the past five years, buoyed by rising insurance penetration rates.  The government’s prioritization of the country’s healthcare system and the interest of private companies to invest more in specialized equipment will yield opportunities for foreign medical device manufacturers as local manufacturing is limited to consumables, basic electro diagnostics, and hospital furniture.

Digitalization and telemedicine, or telehealth, are also priorities for officials in the health sector.  In 2019, MINSA approved a new telehealth framework to promote the modernization of health benefits through information communication technologies.  The framework aims to bring all health institutions – private and public – under standardized norms and allow health professionals to receive information remotely.  Currently, there are 2,701 health establishments incorporated in Peru’s National Telehealth Network, providing telehealth services, remote health management, remote information dissemination, education, and training to foster healthy lifestyles and strengthen the capabilities of health personnel.  Alafarpe, Peru’s Association of Pharmaceutical Laboratories, points out that systems for electronic prescriptions and electronic medical records, among others, should also be adopted.  The related implementation of appropriate standards, installation of technological infrastructure, and training will also be necessary.

Table: Total Market Size for Medical Equipment

Medical Equipment





2022 (Estimated)

Total Exports





Total Imports





Imports from the U.S.





Total Market Size





Unit: USD millions

Total Market Size = (Total Local Production + Imports) - Exports

Data Sources: Global Trade Atlas

Key Industry Events

Tecnosalud 2022 – Goods and services for the healthcare industry.

Sep. 7 – 9 2022

Jockey Plaza Convention Center


Direccion General de Salud Ambiental (DIGESA)

Ministry of Health