The mechanics, electronics and materials subsystem, one of the subsystems of the health care productive complex, encompasses different activities, usually clustered in what is called the medical, hospital and dental equipment and materials industry. This is a strategic area for health care, since it represents a continuous source of changes in care practices, and influences the provision of health care services. It has, moreover, potential for promoting the progress of Brazil's system of innovation and for increasing the competitiveness of the industry as a whole, given that it articulates future technologies. Despite the significant growth of this industry in Brazil in recent years, such equipment and materials have been presenting a growing deficit in the balance of trade. This incompatibility between national health care needs and the productive and innovative basis of the industry points to structural fragilities in the system. Using the framework of political economy, the article aims to discuss the development of this industry in Brazil and its challenges.
Equipment and Supplies, Hospital, economics; Dental Equipment, economics; National Science, Technological Development Technology and Innovation Policy