New Delhi: The 12th Five-Year plan has envisaged the creation of as many as 1200 technical personnel including 300 medical devices officers for efficient implementation of the new regulatory regime as envisaged in the Medical Devices Bill, which is now under consideration of the Rajya Sabha, said Dr G N Singh, Drug Controller General of India (DCGI), while addressing CII’s 6th Medical Technology Conference held here on Thursday.
The conference focused on medical technology and its vital place in healthcare in India. The event was organised to share, identify and recommend solutions and experiences for creating a harmonised medical technology platform in the country.
In the context of the recently tabled Medical Devices Bill, Dr G N Singh said the government is very clear about avoiding any form of overregulation while ensuring safety, efficacy and quality of patient care.
Referring to the medical technology industry as the “sunrise” sector, Ajay Shankar, member secretary, National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council (NMCC), said the industry is poised to grow very rapidly in the next 10 years, possibly at a rate of 10-12 per cent creating more than hundred million jobs in the process.
He supported the industry’s proposal for the government’s interventions in creating an ecosystem for innovation, research and development and providing incubation and funding support to start-ups.
He said NMCC is open to the creation of a strategic package for the medical technology industry to support its growth provided the industry could present to the NMCC a unified proposal encompassing different strategic elements. He further emphasised that such an initiative should not focus too much on the long-term but rather on the immediate and medium-terms.
Dr Naresh Trehan, chairman, CII National Committee on Healthcare and CMD, Medanta – The Medicity, in his address focused on the need for the medical technology sector to come forward with innovations that could not only meet the high-end requirements, but also able to address the enormous healthcare demand that are emerging in the country at the urban, suburban and rural levels.
He urged the industry to come forward with innovations, which could meet the requirements of the population in the last mile. In this context he said India should learn from the experience of other countries and the sector should work towards a strategic programme for developing into a powerhouse and innovation hub which could not only meet the burgeoning demand for healthcare delivery in the country but also be able to serve the needs of many other countries in the African, Asian and CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) regions. The total population that could be served by India in these markets could aggregate to as many as 4 billion people.
Speaking on the occasion, Pavan Choudary, chairman, CII Medical Equipment Division and MD, Vygon India, said, “If India has to achieve universal healthcare for all by 2020, it has to ensure that the four wheels of healthcare — the healthcare providers, the pharmaceutical industry, the health insurance sector and the medical technology industry — grow in tandem.”
“Though medical technology is vital, it was still the smallest of the wheels. To help it reach its potential it needs smooth flows of FDI (foreign direct investment), technical and R&D collaborations, a strong incentive to set up manufacturing units in India, a robust technological ecosystem to support this manufacturing activity, and an appropriate regulatory regime,” he said.
Himanshu Baid, co-chairman, CII Medical Equipment Division and MD, Poly Medicure, while addressing the audience said, “In India about 70 per cent of the population is rural having limited access to the healthcare facilities in comparison to the urban population. Through CII, we aim to bring innovative technologies, meet the external and internal challenges and eliminate the gap between rural and urban facilities.”
The Indian medical device and equipment market currently is valued at $4.4 billion and is expected to grow to around $5.8 billion by 2014 and $7.8 billion by 2016 growing at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 15.5 per cent.