AiMeD proposes complete ban on import of pre-owned and refurbished medical equipment

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Updated: September 07, 2016 5:04 PM

Cites serious health safety issues and adverse impact on domestic manufacturing

Cites serious health safety issues and adverse impact on domestic manufacturing

The Association of Indian Medical Device Manufacturers (AiMeD), has strongly opposed the idea of permitting the import of any kind of pre-owned and refurbished medical equipment on the grounds of serious health safety issue for Indian people as is being lobbied by a segment of importers from the platform of CII. In addition, it has cited disruptive and adverse impact on domestic manufacturing of medical devices which only now has beginning to gain pace.

An ‘Inter-Ministerial Committee of Government of India for Restricting Import of Refurbished Medical Equipment including Radiology Products & Flexible Medical Video Endoscopes’ has recently solicited various stakeholders’ view on the matter.

Giving a detailed reasoning and analysis of ground realities, AiMeD has built a strong case against any leniency for permitting import of refurbished and pre-owned medical equipment.

“We are for total ban on import of used, second-hand or re-furbished medical equipment as there are real and serious health issues for Indian patients. In addition, any leniency will have a serious setback for ‘Make in India’ programme in medical device sector which is only beginning to pick-up,” said Rajiv Nath, Forum Coordinator, AiMeD.

“Can we really leave our people at the mercy of sub-standard, obsolete and unreliable equipment which have been discarded in other countries? Are Indian lives so cheap? Why should we expose them to unsafe radiation?” wondered Nath.

Detailing the health issues related to sub-standard and doubtful second hand medical equipment including radiology equipment and flexible medical video endoscopes, Nath said that such equipment of doubtful efficacy and quality is leading to incomplete and wrong diagnosis, causing either inadequate or wrong treatment plus undesired medication whereby the deserving patient loose one last hope/ chance for proper recovery owing to time constraints or even financial constraints and in some cases even get exposed to unsafe radiation.

Imports of products such as used flexible medical video endoscopy systems along with camera imaging systems affect domestic flexible medical video endoscope manufacturers and similarly the radiology equipment manufacturers are equally distressed.

“Import of second-hand and pre-owned equipments will seriously destabilise ‘Make in India’ programme in high-end medical equipment sector which is only now beginning to pick up,” pointed out Dr Velu, Chairman, Trivitron. “We don’t even allow import of pre-owned cars so why allow import of pre-owned medical equipment?”

EH News Bureau

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