Indias loss is over Rs 60 lakh crore each year due to poor healthcare: Vazirani
Mumbai: The 10th Medtech Conference of Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) witnessed the coming together of officials from the Central and State government, stalwarts from the medical technology sector and thought leaders from across the globe to deliberate and network on how to best capitalize on the opportunities, given the regulatory environment and challenges faced by the Indian Medtech industry.
Held on 7th September at New Delhi, the conference set the platform for dignitaries to put forth their recommendations to the Government on various aspects such as Funding the Medtech sector, Assessing role of Make-in-India for medical technologies, strengthening medical device policy framework, importance of preventive health, government initiatives and new technologies for early detection of diseases and moving towards value based healthcare.
Delivering the keynote address, Suresh Vazirani, Chairman & Managing Director, Transasia Bio-Medicals Ltd. said, "Our Prime Minister’s vision to provide affordable health care to all has a deep economic rationale too. Each year, India loses over Rs. 60 lakh crore due to productivity loss caused by poor health care infrastructure. To make affordable healthcare to all, we must ‘Make in India’ our medical technology needs. Healthcare cannot be made affordable if 70% of India’s medical equipment is imported. Hence, India needs to prioritize medical technology adoption based on the local disease prevalence and promote investments in the targeted areas."
He further stated, “In a developing country like India where there are limited resources and have a low per capita income, Make in India is important for providing affordable and universal health care. We need to evaluate the viability of setting up manufacturing in India especially for high-risk medical devices and how it can benefit by reducing the overall healthcare bill. Making in India is marred by challenges such as 18% GST on raw material which is high. Concessions on raw materials have been eliminated and inverted duty structure has gained prominence. So to promote health for all, the Government needs to reduce the impact of taxes on the citizens. The Government needs to focus on providing tax-free health to all. ’’
On the prescription for the way forward, Vazirani mentioned, “The Government and Industry need to work closely for a focused approach encompassing distinct and specific policies, an encouraging fiscal environment, large healthcare spend, a supportive environment for R&D and its commercialization, attracting global players and at the same time encouraging indigenous players to scale up. The setting up of medical technology industrial parks linked with industrial corridors and technological transfer institutions is a positive move. Further, the Government’s efforts in encouraging FDI, PPP and inverted duty structure correction are all precursors to the growth of this sector.”
Thought leaders from across sectors including Anupriya Singh Patel, Minister of State for Health, Govt. of India, Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII, Himanshu Baid, Managing Director, Polymedicure Ltd., Dr. Naresh Trehan, Chairman, CII Healthcare Council & CMD, Medanta - The Medicity, Mr. Prabal Chakraborty, Vice President & Managing Director, Boston Scientific India Pvt. Ltd. amongst others shared the platform with Mr. Vazirani on putting forth their recommendations to the Government.