Nodal agency to link healthcare ecosystem components vital
Rajiv Aggarwal, Joint Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), has highlighted the importance of the creation of a nodal body to link the various components of the healthcare ecosystem in order to accelerate 'Make in India' for medical devices.
Speaking at the 'Global Conference on Medical Electronics & Devices' on the theme, 'Medical Technology – Key Enabler to Swastha Bharat', organised by FICCI in New Delhi on May 1, 2015, Aggarwal said that DIPP would play an initial limited role in helping medical devices industry to successfully carry out the initiative.
Sangita Reddy, Chairperson, FICCI Services Council and FICCI Telangana & Andhra Pradesh State Council and Joint Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Ltd., advised medical electronics & device manufacturers and healthcare providers to innovate and think out of the box , “using their wits and hands” to produce equipment for widespread screening of potential diseases afflicting an individual. This would ultimately empower him to conduct selfdiagnostic tests for parameters such as blood sugar levels, heart condition and blood pressure.
Reddy said, “The most painful thing that healthcare providers face today is the lack of early detection of diseases,” which shifts the focus to the challenge of affordability of health care for a patient.
While access was a critical component in the receipt of health care, Reddy emphasised the need to adopt and maintain quality standards of global levels. India, she said, should not only be
recognised as a country that provides low-cost medical care but also matches the standards that are the best in the world.
In this context, she underlined the need for convergence of the delivery aspirations of the health care providers with those of the medical technology manufacturers to bring about a holistic development of healthcare in the country.
Reddy said the global medical device outsourcing services market stood at US$ 40 billion and suggested the setting up of three to four medical zones in the country to capture a chunk of the outsourcing market.
Medical device outsourcing services help Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to shorten development and production scale-up time, expand market share, and benefit from premium pricing and cost advantages. The market, in general, closely follows the growth patterns in the medical device industry, and is also dependent on the extent to which device manufacturers choose to outsource their manufacturing and assembly operations. The market is also significantly influenced by rising incidence of diseases specifically cardiac and neurological disorders, which are driving demand for a wide variety of medical devices.
In his presentation on 'Engaging for Make in India towards Swastha Bharat', Sushobhan Dasgupta, Chairman, FICCI Medical Devices Forum, Managing Director, Johnson & Johnson Medical India & President – NatHealth, said that many sectors in India including healthcare will experience strong domestic market growth driven by increased consumption which can boost manufacturing.
He said that the opportunity to transform from 'Make for India' to 'Make in India' was applicable to medical technology in healthcare as well. Yet there were challenges in terms of inverted duty structures, product market & ownership barriers, land market and labour barriers, infrastructure and facilitative policies.
On the other hand, the factors that will drive the 'Make in India' process are the strong domestic demand for healthcare access and affordability, increased awareness accelerating need for institutional access for treatment, and demand supported by steady growth in infrastructure across geographies
The pertinent question, he said, was how to balance decision making between encouraging local manufacturing and supporting launch of cutting edge innovation in the Indian market to meet the increased demand for healthcare.
Sunil Khurana, Chairman, FICCI Medical Electronics Forum and CEO & MD BPL Medical Technologies, pointed out that healthcare facilities were today concentrated in urban areas and rural areas received a raw deal. Shortage of doctors was a major problem, but their unwillingness to work in the rural hinterland was creating artificial scarcity in the area.
He said challenges posed by affordability, accessibility, awareness and quality of service and manpower could be addressed by leveraging medical technologies.
Rajiv Aggarwal, Joint Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (extreme left), addressing audience.