(Photo Courtesy: www.medicaldeviceevents.com)
Industry leaders participating in FICCI Heal 2015 have called upon the government to take strong measures to drive the consumption of medical devices in the country, bring clarity to regulatory policy, correct inverse import duties and provide fiscal incentives to give the domestic manufacture of medical devices a strong impetus for growth and turn India into a global innovation hub for medical technology.
Convening the 'Make in India' and its relevance to Healthcare, Mr Varun Khanna, MD, BD India, said, "The 'Make in India' campaign must be aligned with key government initiatives to create a strong impact on public health and provide safe medical care accessible to all. Therefore, it is important for the stakeholders in the medical devices and larger healthcare ecosystem to constructively engage in a dialogue to facilitate ‘Make in India' for the country. The government should strengthen entrepreneurship and innovation to fulfil the clinical unmet needs leading to better patient outcomes."
Mr Ajay Pitre, co-chair of FICCI Medical Devices Forum & MD of Pitre Business Ventures, said, "The need for quality healthcare services is going to rapidly expand as the Indian economy evolves. A strong domestic medical technology industry is very much possible, considering India's strengths, to help meet the country's needs for medical devices meaningfully and cost effectively. From a net importer, India can transform itself into a provider of cost-effective medical technology solutions to the whole world; provided an enabling ecosystem is put in place by the government."
The experts were unanimous that the medical devices industry is poised to grow significantly in the coming years due to the huge unmet need, and it is no longer sustainable to continue with the current 80:20 import-export ratio.
They called upon the government to focus on the following initiatives to turn India into a powerhouse of medical devices manufacturing:
· Market Expansion - The current market of medical technology in India is an insignificant fraction of the global market. The Government needs to facilitate access and drive consumption by increasing spending in healthcare from current 1% of GDP to at least 3%.