For doctors just starting up their first medical practice, purchasing used medical equipment instead of new equipment can be a great idea. You save a lot of money by buying used equipment, and if you do your research, you can find used devices that work just as reliably as new devices. If you decide to go the used medical equipment route, here are a few things you should know.

Money Saved

Buying used medical equipment can be over half as cheap as buying new medical equipment. Of course, the exact savings depend on the company you purchase from and on the condition of the device itself. But just to give a few examples, a brand new nuclear medicine camera costs around $300,000, but you can find it new for $200,000; and a new defibrillator that sells for $18,000 can be $7,000 used.

The Downsides

When buying new equipment, it's a lot easier to be certain of what exactly you're getting. Putting up the money to buy a top of the line, brand new dentist chair, EKG machine or defibrillator means that you pay for a guaranteed level of quality, and you get a warranty that says that if this level of quality is not sustained for at least this many years, you're entitled to free repairs or a full replacement even. With used medical equipment, there's often no such guarantee.

Also, new equipment often comes with free training on how to use it. Used equipment usually does not. This might be fine if you already know how to use the machine you're purchasing. But if you don't, it can be a real problem, as a lot of medical machines are very complex and require proper training on how to work them. A good return policy is another thing you won't find often when buying used medical equipment. Free installation is another. Now, this is not to say that you can't find training and a reasonable return policy and even a good warranty on used equipment. It just means that you'll have to look a lot harder for it, and perhaps settle for less.

Refurbished Equipment

If you do decide to buy a patient monitor and other used equipment, make sure that it's refurbished. Refurbished means that the device was repaired if needed, and any parts that didn't work were replace by new ones, and the device was thoroughly tested and inspected before being put back on the market.