Medical devices industry in India underinvested: WHO

New Delhi

The ambitious ‘Make in India’ campaign of Prime Minister Narendra Modi throws up opportunities for growth of domestic medical devices industry, which is not only “underinvested” but heavily import-oriented at present, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said.

“There is a need for appropriate and applicable health care technology in India. Our medical devices industry is underinvested and heavily import-driven at present.

“But with the current ‘Make in India’ campaign, there is a huge opportunity for growth and expansion of the medical device industry. This would highly improve the access of essential medical devices and health care technology to patients in India,” WHO Representative to India, Nata Menabde, was quoted as saying in a Health Ministry statement.

She said this during an event to formally announce the commencement of National Health Systems Resource Centre (NHSRC), as the WHO collaborating centre for Priority Medical Devices and Health Technology Policy.

This was announced by the WHO Country office for India in collaboration with the Health Ministry and NHSRC yesterday.

This is the first WHO collaborating centre in South East Asia Region, the Health Ministry statement said.

Menabde also handed over the designation of WHO collaborating centre commencement at NHSRC to Health secretary B P Sharma.

Noting that prioritising medical devices and health technology in the country is an “important agenda” item, Sharma said that it is critical to have the specifications in place for the medical devices and equipments that are already procured and used in the system.

“There is also need for dedicated medical devices testing laboratories to ensure the safety and efficacy of these devices,” he said.

The division of healthcare technology and innovation at NHSRC has been working in the area of health technologies and related policy interface.

Its works includes framing of technical specifications for technologies procured under National Health Mission, best practices for technology life-cycle management and maintenance, secretariat for assessment and uptake of innovations into public health systems among others, the statement said.

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