Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: These hospitals will need equipment and supplies, and the country imports the majority of its medical technology, creating opportunities for Wisconsin exporters.

Due to the prosperity of the Czech economy, additional public funds are available for medical technology, and more than 100 hospital modernization projects are being financed by European funding programs.

Most health care expenditures in the Czech Republic relate to cardiovascular disease and cancer. Expenditures for dementia care are expected to rise in the years ahead. Several private firms such as Alzheimer Home and the Austrian SeneCura Group are planning new retirement homes and dementia centers. A growing challenge is medical care in rural areas. Since 2018, the Ministry of Health has begun paying bonuses of €50,000 for practices that operate in rural areas.

As of 2018, there were 2,460 producers of medical and dental devices and materials and 56 producers of electromedical devices registered in the Czech Republic, including a large share of foreign companies such as Hartmann-Rico, Gerresheimer and Mölnlycke. These companies are currently investing and planning for several projects—for example, Hartmann-Rico is planning the expansion of four sites. Automation of new plants is a major goal. Tescan, a Czech company, announced recently it will open a production site of microtomography equipment, and the U.S. company Teleflex intends to expand its manufacturing facility in Hradec Kralove.

The Czech Republic imports the majority of its medical technology, especially electromedical devices. Total import volume tops €1 billion, with imports on a slight growth trend. Some of the products are processed and re-exported. Demand is especially high for respirators and orthopedic aids. Consumables such as shots, needles, catheters and drain tubes are imported as well. In 2017, imports grew by 2 percent. Major trading partners were Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria and the U.S. The biggest customer for advanced medical technologies is public hospitals. Therefore, it is recommended to get connected with clinics and government agencies to stay informed about calls for tenders. This can be accomplished by collaborating with distributors or via a sales office. Complex equipment is assigned to specialized companies, while replacement and single devices are tendered, and consumables are typically bought via electronic auction. Publicly financed procurements can be researched in the portal http://www.vestnikverejnychzakazek.cz, while the government provides information on current medical equipment in hospitals at https://ztnemocnice.uzis.cz. Further information on the Czech health care sector can be found at the website of the Ministry of Health.

Trade fairs are the best way to get to know the local market and establish contacts with businesses. The Medica Messe in Germany, taking place in November 2019, provides a platform for international companies, and a large share of Czech firms attend the trade fair every year. Pragodent is a trade fair focusing on dental care taking place in October 2019. One of the biggest local associations that hosts local events is the Association of Manufacturers and Suppliers of Medical Devices.