Founded in India with an aim to accelerate the growth of medical technology sector, Medical Technology Association of India (MTaI – Pronounced Em-tai) mainly represents key research based multinational companies with significant investments in the country. In a short time of its formation, the association has taken vital steps to underpin the importance of the sector for a Healthy India.
As per Mr Pavan Choudary, Director General, MTaI, “The Medical devices industry has huge potential to not only be able to significantly contribute to GDP of the country but also to the dream of Healthy India. The key industry players in India that include global and indigenous manufacturers and importers, have together contributed to growth of the sector.”
“MTaI recognizes the efforts made by the Government for the development of the MedTech sector. We are proud and simultaneously grateful for the fact that the PMO is directly nurturing it, that the Department of Pharmaceuticals, MOHFW, Niti Aayog, Ministry of Commerce, DIPP & CDSCO are all working in a spirit of inclusiveness which is ensuring that each responsible voice gets a hearing & due consideration. We thank the offices of Mr Ananth Kumar, Minister of Chemicals & Fertilizers & Mr J.P. Nadda, Minister of Health & Family Welfare and their Secretaries who are studying the various nuances of this sector to take informed decisions,” added Pavan.
Current data culled by MTaI reveals that investment in the medical devices sector shot up to US$ 161 million (in calendar year 2015) from US$ 60 million (Average annual yield) post the announcement of 100% FDI under automatic route in India in January 2015.
“Progress on the FDI front shows a clear jump of US$ 101 million in less than a year’s time, (US $ 161 million in 2015 over the average annual yield of @ US$ 60 Million). Though this is yet not proportionate to the potential of the Medical Technology sector; it is a sign what positive policies can do. During the same time the Pharmaceutical sector, Medtech’s BIG brother, which usually brings nearly 15 times of the FDI brought in by Medtech I clocked an incremental FDI of only US$ 161 million over its average annual yield (just 1.6 times of Medetech this time!). Given appropriate thrust and direction, the trajectory of growth can be steeper, and this growth will not only significantly contribute to GDP of the country but also to the dream of a Healthy India. We seek the Government’s help and support for a predictable, consistent and coherent policy & regulatory regime for Make in India, FDI & Business in general in the sector,” Pavan elaborated.
Stressing the need for a coherent & nuanced policy which ensures that technologies which will take much time to be import substituted are not made dearer to the patient, Milan Rao, CEO of GE Healthcare India, said, “India’s medical devices sector is heavily underpenetrated with access limited to larger towns and cities. A majority of the market, especially of high-end medical equipment is imported. These equipments are critical in improving the health outcomes of millions of people, saving scores of lives and helping others lead healthier lives. A higher import tax rate will only make these products more expensive, increasing the financial burden on the healthcare system and reducing access further.”
“High-end medical technologies require many years of development and technical skills, and GE is already committed to developing such an ecosystem in India as part of its ‘Make in India, for India and the World’ efforts. A balanced approach where we address near term priorities of access and availability while simultaneously building the local ecosystem for the long term will help the medical devices sector flourish in India and ensure healthcare for all,” added Milan.
MTaI believes that global players in this sector have contributed significantly by bringing basic and advanced medical technologies to address patient needs in India, by investing in training of medical fraternity and thus creating the market, by bringing FDI and technology, by entering manufacturing due to consistent signals received from the Government so far.
And that, it is also due to the ready availability of state of the art medical technology, that healthcare outcomes of many of our hospitals compare with the best in the world.
The association also appreciates the efforts of the indigenous manufacturers who have contributed significantly to the sector through innovation and development of low cost basic devices and earning foreign exchange through exports. The policy makers and regulators need to nurture both, domestic and international groups in such a way that the ‘Make in India’ program continues for those sub sectors or product categories where a high level of import substitution of an acceptable quality has been obtained or can be obtained quickly while the technological & financial ecosystems get built for the balance sub sectors. This approach will help the Government foster this high gestation period sector, which needs deep pockets and substantive technology transfers continually.