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MTaI seeks defence-like procurement freedom in healthcare

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NEW DELHI: Medical Technology Association of India (MTaI) on April 16, 2018, said that the government should follow the 'experts-will-decide-what-to-buy' note set by the Defence Ministry in the Healthcare space as well.

In a statement, MTaI said, “Defence and medical technology sectors are alike in various aspects, most important being both these sectors deal with protecting the nation’s population. Therefore, the two should be looked at through the same lens as far as the regulatory and procurement roadmap is concerned.”

The association stated, “We want Make in India for medical devices. We just don’t want anything that may prove detrimental to Indian patients considering India’s disease burden is one of the heaviest in the world and is supported up to 80% through imports and one can’t rush a transformation.”

“The other point is the Ayushman Bharat initiative which is a laudable programme and should not falter due to any interruptions in the continued supply of quality critical care medical devices”, it added.

MTaI demanded, “If the government is keen to offer latitude of choice to armed forces on the quality or nationality of the weapons they choose, it should offer the same level of latitude to its doctors who are not tasked with any less responsibility with regards to ensuring prevention of loss of life.”

The association urged that the government should identify those segments of medical devices where adequate manufacturing and quality ecosystem is present within the country before implementing public procurement guidelines.

At present, India has adequate manufacturing capabilities for products like syringes, cannulae, stop cocks, extension lines, blood bags, dressings, hospital furniture and suction machines, but it lacks the desired ecosystem for devices requiring complex research, design and engineering support, the association clarified.

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