The South Korean endoscopy devices market is growing under relatively lower reimbursement rates and budget constraints that are forcing hospitals to provide greater importance to pricing of equipment and changing utilization patterns. In many South Korean hospitals, consolidated purchasing of endoscopy and laparoscopy equipment slows down procurement, as requirements have to be gathered from all departments.
Healthcare expenditure in South Korea is growing, especially in private healthcare, which translates into better healthcare provision and quality of services in the country. Demand for outpatient healthcare services in top general hospitals remains high and hospital establishments continue to grow in line with the increasing number of hospital beds.
Uptake of new and advanced minimally invasive surgical systems are driven by patients’ and physicians’ preferences because of their advantages over open surgery, such as less complications, less pain, faster recovery, and shorter operating times, which translate into lower hospitalization costs and improved patient outcomes.
In South Korea, private healthcare providers have been allowed to respond accordingly to the increase in demand for healthcare services, which has resulted in 94% of the hospitals in the country being privately owned. Thus, increasing demand for outpatient services by patients is increasing the number of outpatient services in private settings. This, in turn, is increasing the number of minimally invasive procedures.
With an increase in chronic diseases, hospitals are expected to be overcrowded, requiring new equipment or procedures that can help reduce treatment time, or specific partnerships that can help reduce the burden on existing healthcare service providers. All these factors are expected to contribute to the increase in adoption of endoscopy devices in South Korea.
Key buying criteria for healthcare providers and physicians include: brand equity, wide range of applications, technology, and value for money. There is higher preference for endoscopic procedures among healthcare practitioners and patients, especially for general surgery and urology procedures, due to a high level of awareness about the benefits of these procedures.
In general, medical professionals tend to prefer 2D imaging systems to 3D imaging systems, owing to higher familiarity and ease of use. However, the country is witnessing increasing interest in robotic procedures for urology that can perform delicate surgeries more precisely. This trend is likely to have a high impact in the long term on the endoscopy devices market.