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- 80 To 90% Of The Country’s Medical Devices Are Coming From Abroad, If The Government Supports, There Is No Such Medical Device That We Cannot Make.
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New Delhi3 minutes agoAuthor: Ravi Yadav
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India is fighting a war against the second wave of Corona. In order to avoid the third wave of Corona, it is necessary to undertake large scale vaccination in the country. A large number of syringes will be needed for this. Dainik Bhaskar spoke to Rajiv Nath, founder of the Association of Indian Medical Devices Industry and MD of Hindustan Medical Devices Limited, about India’s dependence on medical equipment. Here are the major parts of that conversation ..
What will be said about the demand for disposable syringes in the Corona era and the challenges of the present times?
For this, we started preparing from last year. In May and June last year, 250 million annual production capacity was to make syringes. We had written to the government at that time that it was necessary to store syringes, as there would be a shortage at the time of vaccine. On this, the Government of India started purchasing in December. We had also suggested to the WHO that now we have reached a production capacity of 80 crores per annum, which was earlier 50 crores annually and in the next one or two months we are expecting to meet the target of 100 crores.
How much does India depend on other countries for raw materials to make medical devices?
You leave the raw material. If we talk about ventilators, PPE kits or oximeters, the government has garnered a fleet of industry. Government policy is to bring cheaper goods and help patients by imposing 0% or 7% import duty. But the government does not feel that by doing this the trade will go towards import and India will not have industries.
You must have seen before that how much the mask or PPE had become for the insect. If the Indian government helps, then all these can be made here and in a few months the industry will grow tremendously. People invest with any hope, but last year also did not help. The government had reduced the customs duty to 0% due to which the prices fell, this happened due to cheap imports. Even when the import duty was increased, it was reduced to 7.5%. We say it should be done at 15%, as has been done on mobile phones to give a boost to the industry. The annual import bill of our country is 42 thousand crores. There is no such thing that we cannot make.
The Association of Indian Medical Devices Industry says that due to government policy, the country is completely dependent on imports in terms of medical devices. Indigenous companies say that due to low import duty, the goods coming from abroad are cheap, but in emergency situation we are completely dependent on foreign countries.
What does the Government of India say about Make in India and self-reliant?
This can happen if we work with Team Spirit. We have been left by our own faith. There is no help from the government. There are very few people who are running in this battle. 85 to 90% of medical equipment is imported into the country. Our 4 main demands are-
1. The import duty of medical device should be increased to 15%.
2. The equipment that the government is importing is used (second hand), it should be controlled by the government.
3. We need a separate medical device law from the drug.
4. To stop black marketing, if there are more than one lakh rated devices, then the selling price should not be more than two times and the devices which are from one thousand to one lakh should not be more than three times the rate.
The public will benefit from doing all this. The government should do this work, but all this is not happening because the lobby of the importer is stronger than us. The doctors’ lobby is also strong. Those who are importers stand in front of doctors and also stop our suggestion from the PMO.
The demand for disposable syringes will increase rapidly after the announcement of 18 plus vaccination in India. Companies making indigenous medical equipment say that we have increased production almost four times as compared to last year.
What do you consider the future of the medical device industry in the current situation?
We cry The doctors say that we have a shortage of equipment and no one makes it in India. When we make, nobody buys and says that we are getting cheaper goods from outside. If we ask the government to increase import duty, they call it harmful for doctors and patients. Bitter pill will have to be shot for some time. The government does not impose 0% import duty on mobile phones.
You have heard that syringes orders are constantly coming from many countries of the world.
We supply 120 countries, but at present, syringes are being supplied for vaccine, India is the first among us. Our agreements with some countries are already running from Corona. We are supplying them, but we are refusing the new companies seeking syringes for the Corona vaccine, because first we have to meet the needs of our country.