AiMeD seeks ban on import of refurbished medical equipment

The Association that mostly represents Indian companies, citing health concerns as a reason behind such demand, has conveyed to the government that the people can't be left at the mercy of sub-standard, obsolete and unreliable equipments which have been discarded in other countries

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New Delhi: 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. It has alleged that the same is is being lobbied by a segment of importers from the platform of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). In addition, it has cited disruptive and adverse impact on domestic manufacturing of medical devices which only now has beginning to gain pace.

AiMeD in a statement issued to media on September 07, 2016, has said that it has built a strong case based on a detailed reasoning and analysis of ground realities, 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’ program in medical device sector which is only beginning to pick-up,” said Mr Rajiv Nath, Forum Coordinator, AiMeD.

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

Detailing the health issues related to sub-standard and doubtful second hand medical equipment including radiology equipment and flexible medical video endoscopes, Mr Nath said that such equipments 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 .

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

It is important to note that the ‘Inter-Ministerial Committee of Government of India for restricting import of refurbished Medical Equipment including radiology products and flexible medical video endoscopes’ has recently solicited various stakeholders’ view on the matter.