Domestic Medical Device Makers cry foul @ FICCI’s ‘Un-Make in India’ Intent

dhanNew Delhi: FICCI is at it again trying to frustrate PM Modi’s ‘Make in India’ ambition in medical device sector. The official memorandum permitting the import of pre-owned medical devices has left domestic medical device makers aghast. AiMed has cried foul and demanded immediate withdrawal of ‘Un-Make-in-India’ memorandum. It says it is an attempt to bulldoze ‘Make in India’ drive so close to PM Modi’s heart.

In an unprecedented move, India’s leading industry body – FICCI’s Medical Devices Division – joins hands with forces inimical to the Make in India drive of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, giving a body blow to domestic manufacturers of medical devices and equipment, which have urged the Central Government to withdraw the official memorandum (OM) permitting the import of pre-owned medical devices.

“Nothing could have been worse than what FICCI Medical Devices Division is doing at the behest of MNCs lobby. Much to our dismay and disappointment, FICCI Medical Devices Division is working against the interest of domestic medical devices manufacturers. Its ‘Un-make in India’ campaign amounts to bulldozing the Make in India dream of Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” said Mr Rajiv Nath, Forum Coordinator Association of Indian Medical Device Industry (AiMeD).

Mr Nath adds “The decision to permit the import of pre-owned medical devices is in contravention to India’s recently launched National Medical Device Policy-2023 that seeks to make our country not only Atma Nirbhar in medical devices but also the global leader. The OM is a regressive step that has confused the investors who have been putting up manufacturing capacity in the last few years in response to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for self-reliance.”

Expressing concern over how the vested interests under the patronage of an organization like FICCI Medical Devices Division are being encouraged to break the spine of domestic players, Mr. Rajiv Nath said “MSMEs are working day in and day out to make medical devices and equipment in India, thereby not only to strengthen the clarion call of Make in India given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi but to make healthcare affordable for all.”

“Cautioning against the repercussions of the move by MoEFCC & MoHFW, Mr. Gaurav Agarwal, Managing Director, Innvolution Healthcare Pvt. Ltd. said that the utilization of refurbished equipment under the guise of C-arms and advanced X-ray systems for performing catheterization procedures is both misleading and potentially hazardous. Against the need of 500 Cath Labs a year to serve the Indian population, Indian Manufacturers has the capacity to manufacture more than 600 indigenized Cath Labs which play a critical role in diagnosing and treating cardiovascular diseases, and it is essential that these facilities meet the highest standards of quality, reliability, and patient safety,” he said, adding that by importing refurbished equipment, we miss the opportunity to nurture a robust ecosystem of innovation, research, and development in the medical technology sector.

Mr. Rajiv Nath said “The entire development smacks of a larger conspiracy, as the move to finish the domestic medical device industry raises concerns for the safety of patients, e-waste dumping, and the affordability and reliability of foreign make equipment. The quality and affordability of healthcare is going to be a sure short casualty for which FICCI Medical Devices Division has conspired with their MNC friends.”

Cautioning against the policy of allowing free imports of old, used and discarded medical equipment from other countries, Mr. Suresh Vazirani, Chairman of India’s largest IVD company, Transasia Bio-Medicals Ltd. said “The use of old, discarded medical equipment can not only be dangerous for the lives of our fellow Indians but it will destroy our PM Modi’s dream of making India Atma Nirbhar in medical technology.”

“India’s retrograde policy will allow Western countries to ship all old equipment to India and thereby prevent their own countries from getting environmentally polluted with discarded pollutants in medical equipment.” Mr. Suresh Vazirani further added.

The AiMeD functionary said Indian medical devices manufacturers not only meet the domestic demands but also export equipment to over 100 countries across the world, meeting international standards and safety certification. The import of pre-used medical devices from MNCs not only goes against the spirit of Make in India but will also deal a body blow to indigenous MSMEs engaged in making world class medical devices and equipment.

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