Peru - Country Commercial Guide
Medical Devices

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2020-10-11


Peru is the eighth most populous country in the Americas, with a population of 32 million inhabitants and an average life expectancy of 74 years. The government’s attempt (pre-COVID-19) to develop the health sector has been reflected in its spending. Peru’s 2019 budget included $5.4 billion for the health sector, a 13.7 percent increase from the $4.8 billion allotted in 2018. Recent developments have proven this to be gravely inadequate and the sector remains poorly resourced. Its health budget is one of the lowest in South America; the average investment in health is only 4 percent of GDP by contrast to an average of 8 percent in countries belonging to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) of which Chile, Colombia and Brazil are members.

Peru’s human resources for health are also low. The Word Health Organization recommends 44.5 health workers per 10,000 inhabitants. Peru has 32 for every 10,000 inhabitants and most are in urban areas – namely Lima. There are only two intensive care unit beds for every 100,000 inhabitants, and 700 intensive care physicians. The deficit of specialist doctors countrywide is significant according to the Minitry of Health. Reportedly, as of June 2020, the ICU bed capacity has increased by 2,000 since the COVID-19 pandemic started.

As of this report, Peru is proportionately the most affected by COVID-19 of all Latin America and the fifth most affected in the world despite being one of the first countries in the region to implement strict measures such as closing country´s borders and mandating a quarantine, restricting domestic travel and all nonessential activity.   The country’s vulnerability to the impact of the pandemic is evident. Peru’s health system is still fragmented and segmented, which makes coordinated implementation of policies difficult.

Peru’s healthcare sector has five main entities 1) The Ministry of Health (MINSA) is the main publicly funded healthcare provider, serving 60 percent of the population through a network of public hospitals and clinics.  MINSA offers Seguro Integral de Salud (SIS), the main publicly funded insurance, 2) EsSalud, the national social security program, is funded by payroll taxes and provides services to 30 percent of all Peruvians.  The remaining 10 percent of the population receives services from 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 stated 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, disparity in coverage remains between Lima and the rural Andean and Amazonian regions of the country. In recent years, the national social security agency, EsSalud, has inaugurated two PPP hospitals and will continue to bid new hospitals under this process.


Market Entry

Since the United States - Peru Trade Promotion Agreement (PTPA) came into force in 2009, most of the medical devices/equipment and pharmaceuticals enter Peru duty-free, provided a U.S. certificate of origin is presented to Peruvian customs.  U.S. companies must register their products in Peru by partnering with a local distributor who has the ability to register through the Dirección General de Medicamentos, Drogas e Insumos (DIGEMID).  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.  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.

A sanitary registration is required to sell medical equipment and devices.  The Ministry of Health through the Dirección General de Medicamentos, Drogas e Insumos (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 the registration will be issued to the Peruvian company.  Both public and private hospitals purchase new medical equipment, although used medical equipment is only permitted for individual physicians buying it for personal use.

To succeed in the Peruvian market, U.S. firms should offer competitive pricing.  Peruvian buyers recognize the value added and prefer modern technology with strong post-sales technical and parts support .  All marketing materials and product information should be provided 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 by 2021. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the severe inadequacies and shortfalls of the Peruvian healthcare system which has been completely overwhelmed. There remains a dire need for facilities and trained personnel to improve equality of health outcomes in rural and urban areas where disparate quality of access and care is pronounced. Ernst & Young Peru estimates demand for 5,000 additional hospital beds, more with the COVID-19-19 pandemic. Mobile and temporary clinics, chatbots, ventilators, oxygen, specialized treatment medicines, and personal protective equipment is also needed to pave the way for a quick and comprehensive response to COVID-19 in Peru.

A growing middle class is increasingly turning to the private sector for healthcare and has higher expectations of healthcare providers. About 2 million people, 6.5 percent of the total population in Peru are aged 65 or older. Demands for quality elder care and treatment for cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes exist. 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. Private investment in the sector has recently peaked, reaching $400 million and adding approximately 1,100 hospital beds. The government is expecting to add 7,000 new hospital beds, and rehabilitate, construct, and outfit 206 primary care centers, 170 provincial hospitals, 23 regional hospitals and 13 national hospitals.

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. These opportunities are augmented by the country’s low export profile, where local manufacturing is limited to consumables, basic electro diagnostics, and hospital furniture.

Digitalisation and telemedicine, or telehealth, are also priorities for officials in the health sector. In February 2019 MINSA approved a new telehealth framework to promote the modernisation of health benefits through ICT. The framework aims to bring all health institutions – private and public – under standardised norms and allow health professionals to receive information remotely. As of October 2018 (later figures not available) some 250 health facilities were already connected to the telehealth network.





2020 Estimated

Total Local Production





Total Exports





Total Imports





Imports from the U.S.





Total Market Size





Exchange Rates





Unit: USD millions

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

Data Sources: Global Trade Atlas


Leading Sub-Sectors

The figures below represent each product’s share of Peru’s 2019 total imports in this sector.

Best prospects include diagnostic imaging equipment as the country invests in its radiology infrastructure. Other prospects include emergency room equipment and products, orthopedics, patient aids and dental products.


Key Industry Events

Tecnosalud 2021 – International tradeshow of goods and services related to the healthcare sector. 

Place & Date: To Be Determined.

Organized by the Lima Chamber of Commerce. 


Web Resources

Business Monitor International Research

Ministry of Health

National Institute of Statistics and Informatics INEI (Spanish)

Obras por Impuestos