Asset finance the answer to £300m imaging system replacement challenge

New report reveals UK faces £300m bill to replace imaging technologies at a time when capital funds are dwindling

The cost of replacing imaging equipment in hospitals and health centres across the UK will be nearly £300m over the next two years, according to new figures.

Research from Siemens Financial Services (SFS) reveals that UK healthcare organisations will have to invest around £294m between 2013 and 2015 to replace out-of-date diagnostic imaging equipment. This equipment is over 10 years old and the amount to be paid is greater than that for Spain and France, which will need to find £368m and £373m respectively over the coming months.

The sudden demand is due, in part, to legislative reform and demographic change, which is seeing an increase in the use of diagnostic imaging techniques around the world.

Up-to-date medical equipment plays a crucial role in the provision of quality healthcare services and improvement of health outcomes

David Martin, general manager for SFS in the UK, said: “Up-to-date medical equipment plays a crucial role in the provision of quality healthcare services and improvement of health outcomes. In particular, diagnostic imaging technologies facilitate accurate, early diagnosis and reduce invasive procedures, making a vital contribution to efficient and effective healthcare provision.”

However, such demand is exerting considerable financial strain on healthcare systems where a proportion of medical equipment is currently out-of-date and capital budgets are dwindling.

It is therefore imperative, says Martin, that healthcare providers find more affordable ways of financing these purchases and he predicts that the use of asset finance techniques such as leasing and renting will increase.

“Asset finance allows healthcare organisations to spread the cost of equipment over its useful lifetime,” he added. “Such financing arrangements often cover not only the equipment acquisition cost, but also maintenance, service and sometimes consumables. Their growing popularity with healthcare providers around the world indicates the usefulness of being able to align payments with benefits gained.”

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