The medical technologies industry in Australia

Medical technology

A medical device or technology is any article, including software, intended to be used by humans for the diagnosis, prevention, monitoring or treatment of a disease, injury or physiological process.  This includes products such as complex capital equipment (including operating theatre equipment and diagnostic imaging equipment such as x-ray machines and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners), high-tech advanced devices (such as ear implants, artificial hearts and other implantable devices); simple, low-risk devices (such as bandages and walking sticks); and diagnostic devices such as in vitro diagnostic test kits.

Australian medical technology sector

Firms by size and turnover

ABS statistics indicate that there are just under 4,000 medical technology wholesaling and manufacturing businesses in Australia.  The majority are small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) with less than 20 employees and revenue of less than $2 million.

​Revenue ​Number of businesses
​Zero to less than $50,000 ​645
​$50,000 to less than $200,000 ​1,079
​$200,000 to less than $2 million ​1,582
​$2 million or more ​650

Source: ABS Counts of Businesses, including Entries and Exits, Jun 2007 to Jun 2011

Text description for Percentages of businesses by turnover

Firms by location

ABS statistics indicate that there are a particularly large number of medical technology companies in New South Wales and Victoria (ABS, Counts of Businesses, including Entries and Exits Jun 2007 to Jun 2011).

​State or Territory ​Number of businesses
​New South Wales ​1,480
​Victoria ​1,025
​Queensland ​695
​Western Australia ​368
​South Australia ​280
​Tasmania ​59
​Australian Capital Territory ​37
​Northern Territory ​9

 Source: ABS Counts of Businesses, including Entries and Exits, Jun 2007 to Jun 2011



According to the latest statistics from ABS, there were 12,545 people employed in the medical technology manufacturing sector alone in 2009-10 (ABS, Experimental Estimates for the Manufacturing Industry).  Wages and salaries for these manufacturing employees were in the order of $656 million for 2009-10.


In 2013-14, Australia exported medical devices to 167 different countries around the world.  The top 10 destinations for Australian medical devices exports were United States of America (USA); New Zealand; United Kingdom (UK); Germany; Netherlands; Japan; China; Singapore; Denmark; and the Republic of Korea.

The total value of medical devices exports was about $2.1 billion.  The top five medical devices exports were therapeutic respiration apparatus; appliances which are worn or carried, or implanted in the body to compensate for a defect or disability; instruments and appliances used in medical, surgical, dental or veterinary sciences (including scintigraphic apparatus, other electro-medical apparatus and sight-testing instruments); artificial parts of the body (excluding teeth, dental fittings and joints; and hearing aids (excluding parts and accessories).


Advanced Manufacturing Branch
Department of Industry
GPO Box 9839

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