Locally-produced medical devices to ensure affordable treatment: Seminar

Healthcare experts urged for the government support and collaboration of stakeholders to develop the local medical devices and equipment sector in the country to meet the local demand of hospitals and medical units. Speaking at the seminar “Boosting Medical Devices Development in Pakistan” at the 20th Health Asia Exhibition on Friday, Dr Shahid Noor, Chairman, Saman-e-Shifa Foundation said that Pakistan’s should set up a full-fledged sector for producing the medical devices at the international standards to ensure the affordable treatment to its masses.

He added that local manufacturers in collaboration with universities have developed more than 20 important equipment including ventilators, cardiac stents, glucometer and a number of new devices are being produced at present.

Our mission is to decrease the reliance of imported medical devices, but to develop our standard at part with global standards to export made-in-Pakistan brands to different countries with a pride as similar to our locally-made football is utilized in international sports events.

He urged the government to waive off duties on the raw material of the medical devices which will also accelerate the production of this emerging sector in Pakistan.

Dr Abdul Bari, CEO, Indus Hospital said the local production of healthcare devices will decrease drastically the cost of treatment of critical health issues in the country which always goes up due to impact of Dollar versus Rupee disparity. On the other hand, he added, the supply chain of local industry will be streamlined which will ultimately benefit the citizens.

He further said the affordable medical devices could be utilized in small size healthcare units due to its affordable which will ultimately improve the standard of health practices in Pakistan.

Renowned doctor Prof. Tipu Sultan said Pakistan has capacity, talent and most importantly the political will mainly under the support of SIFC, which will attract local and foreign investment in this sector.

He urged the stakeholders to set up research and development department in collaboration with stakeholders for focusing on innovation to produce medical devices and equipment for local and international markets.

Speakers also urged the government to set up a specialized regulatory body for this sector in collaboration with industry, academia, policymakers and members of civil society for fast-paced development of this sector.

They also urged the government for upgrading the curriculum of the universities through industry and academia linkages which should also include the internship programs in industrial units.

Other speakers were HEC Chairman Sindh, Tariq Rafi, Vice Chancellor NED University Sarosh Lodhi, Dr Farhan Essa, Prof Dr Murtaza Najabat, etc.

On the second day of the 20th Health Asia, several seminars were also held on breast cancer, CPR and manual defibrillator handling. There are nearly 150 companies participating in the trade fair including foreign companies from China, Hungry, Iran, etc.

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