Refurbished medical equipment is used medical equipment which is refurbished by a manufacturer or third party agency and then resold. This equipment is typically less costly than brand new medical equipment, which makes it appealing to hospitals, medical clinics, and healthcare professionals who are trying to save money without compromising patient care. Such equipment is available for sale from manufacturers, through supply catalogs, and through agencies which organize medical equipment needs for the health care industry. It can also be rented.
When people buy or lease refurbished medical equipment, the equipment may not be new, but it carries the backing of the manufacturer or company which refurbished it. The refurbishment process includes a complete inspection, replacement of any worn parts, recalibration, and general review to confirm that the equipment is in working order and in excellent condition. It cannot be sold as “new” because it is used and it may have cosmetic defects, but it often works like new.
With some types of medical equipment, it's better to buy new because the technology behind the equipment is rapidly changing, and buying used equipment could put people behind the curve. However, for other types of equipment, there's no reason not to buy used, especially when the equipment comes with a guarantee. Refurbished medical equipment can be substantially less expensive than new equipment, especially if people are willing to buy equipment with cosmetic problems like scratches and chipped paint.
When buying refurbished medical equipment, people may have an opportunity to inspect it before sale, or they may sign a contract which indicates that if the equipment does not meet their expectations, it can be returned. For example, someone buying a refurbished ultrasound machine through a mail order catalog would have the right to return it if there was a cosmetic defect which was not advertised. The equipment may also come with a short warranty, in case any major problems emerge in the first few weeks or months of ownership.
One popular use for refurbished medical equipment is in clinics in the developing world. These facilities are often in sore need of medical equipment, and cannot afford new equipment. They may not need new equipment because they lack the infrastructure to support it or because brand new equipment is not functionally different from used equipment, and the savings from buying used can allow them more opportunities; the saved money can be used to buy other necessary medical supplies, to fund clinic initiatives, or to save up for an item which absolutely must be purchased new. People can also donate refurbished medical equipment to such facilities, as may be done by a hospital which is upgrading its equipment and would like to contribute to health care in developing nations.