Budget 2017: Gold for medical device sector, and a cold breeze to healthcare industry

This budget has certainly brought a wide smile on the faces of people dealing with medical devices but fails on the other hand, it didn't back the government's vision to make India one of the top three pharmaceutical markets by 2020

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While revealing his fourth budget, Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister, Government of India, has come up with plethora of several proposals for the medical and healthcare industry. But it seem like the FM has not been able to satisfy each and every member of this vast sector. This budget has certainly brought a wide smile on the faces of people dealing with medical devices but fails on the other hand, it didn't back the government's vision to make India one of the top three pharmaceutical markets by 2020.

In a bid to beef up the medical education in the country, Jaitley also announced installing two new All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), in the states of Gujarat and Jharkhand, and while also adding that 25,000 post graduate seats will be created in medicine to strengthen medical education in the country.

While speaking about the recently revealed budget, one of the officials of Medical Technology Association of India (MTaI) said, "We are currently studying the rules. And also consulting with our expert group to understand about how their implementation will affect operations on the ground. These rules follow the Finance Minister's unequivocal policy assertion in his budget speech that Medical Device Rules "will be internationally harmoniszed and attract investment into this sector". This is a reflection of the growing and clear understanding of the international interconnectedness of this sector & and the importance of the global technology, investments and best practices for its progress," said .

"We welcome the government's pain-staking initiative in drafting these rules with the joint aims of ensuring quality levels, continued supply of critical care medical devices and achieving the much- needed global harmoniszation.," official quoted further.
As "Since the implementation of these rules is yet a year away, and because the Health Ministry and Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) has kept all stakeholders closely engaged, the firm's official is we are hopeful that any adjustments which may be in overall patient interest and assured availability of these devices can still be made," official stated.

Speaking about the recently pitched proposals, Utkarsh Palnitkar, Partner and Head- Life Sciences, Partner and Head- Infrastructure, Government and Healthcare, KPMG, India stated, "The life sciences sector had great expectations from the Budget not only from a fiscal incentives perspective but also from a regulatory angle; more so, given the government's vision of making India one of the top-three pharmaceutical markets by 2020."

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