BERLIN (dpa-AFX) - Strong export business boosted sales in the German medical technology industry last year. Sales increased by 5.1 percent to 40.4 billion euros, the industry association Spectaris announced in Berlin on Thursday. Demand from other EU countries increased by ten percent and more than two thirds of the industry's turnover is now generated abroad. Domestic business, on the other hand, is suffering from the financial difficulties of many German clinics.

"International business will continue to play a key role in the coming years," said Martin Leonhard, CEO of the association. The consulting firm Frost & Sullivan expects the global market for medical technology to grow by five percent annually until 2027.

Domestic business, on the other hand, grew by only three percent in nominal terms last year. The German Hospital Federation (DKG) expects a record number of insolvencies in 2024. The situation is the same for care facilities. "However, the framework conditions are not getting better, but increasingly critical. The amount of bureaucracy has reached an alarming level due to the new European Medical Device Regulation, causing high costs and tying up urgently needed staff capacity," said Leonhard. The industry is also concerned about the planned restriction of high-performance materials based on perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), as a result of which many medical devices could disappear from the market.

According to Spectaris, the medical technology sector employs around 265,000 people in Germany. 93 percent of companies are small or medium-sized enterprises with up to 250 employees./rol/DP/stk