Business Standard: September 06, 2016
New Delhi: Through medical devices parks, the government aims to increase competitiveness of the Indian industry globally by helping it to bring down the manufacturing cost significantly. “Setting up of these parks can bring down the manufacturing cost by another 30 per cent and make Indian medical technology sector globally competitive, due to pooling of common facilities,” said Ananth Kumar, Minister for Chemicals & Fertilizers and Parliamentary Affairs, at the medical technology conference in New Delhi recently.
The first medical technology park has already been set up in Vishakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, with an investment of Rs 1200 crore. Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Telangana and Maharashtra have also shown interest in setting up such parks.
Indian medical technology sector is pegged at about $ 5.5 billion contributing to about 7 to 8 per cent of the healthcare spent in India. It is placed 20th in the global ranking and 4th in Asia.
The Government is taking several steps to promote the medical devices sector in the country. “The inverted duty structure has been set right. GST will further bring down the taxation in the sector by almost 12 per cent,” informed Ananth Kumar.
Stressing on the need to customise medical devices for Indian conditions and requirements, Ananth Kumar called upon the medical devices manufacturers to undertake research and innovation, and not confine themselves to reverse engineering or re-engineering. “Industry should strive to be a source for not only Indian requirements but also cater to rest of Asia and Africa. The industry’s demand of legislation for medical technology is a good idea but it requires brainstorming,” he said.
The government is planning to set up a task force to discuss various issues with different industry associations. Ananth Kumar has been advocating the setting up of a separate Ministry for Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices as it is a sunrise industry and growing very fast. The Minister said he is willing to take up the issues of refurbished medical equipment and extended warranty with Environment Ministry and Finance Ministry.
According to Ananth Kumar, promotion and regulation should go hand in hand for medical devices sector to provide affordable health care to the poor. “Regulation is required in the medical devices sector to check profit and money making so as to facilitate providing adequate medical facilities to the poor,” he said.
Cardiac stents have already been included in the National List of Essential Medicines and are expected to come under the DPCO soon.
Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.