Budget 2019: MedTech associations welcome Ayushman Bharat focus, new AIIMS

The leading associations, Medical Technology Association of India and AdvaMed have welcomed the announcements made in the budget 2019 that was presented in the Parliament by the Finance Minister, Piyush Goyal on 1st February

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New Delhi: The leading associations of global medical technology companies in India have welcomed the announcements pertaining to healthcare sector in the budget 2019.

“Quality medical technologies and diagnostics are a critical component of a well-functioning healthcare delivery system. The need of the hour is to better recognize  the role of medical devices towards ensuring on-ground success of the Ayushman Bharat scheme,” mentioned the AdvaMed in its statement as a reaction to the budget.

AdvaMed and its member companies congratulated the government for treating close to 10 lakh patients under this scheme, that reflect the ongoing success of the scheme. “We are encouraged to see healthcare at the forefront of policy making and are hopeful that medical device sector will receive its rightful place in the overall healthcare continuum. Government’s announcement of the 22nd AIIMS during the Interim Budget 2019 is a testimony to that.”

AdvaMed said that it is aligned with the Government’s larger goal of ensuring access to affordable and quality healthcare, while building an environment that is ‘innovation friendly, predictable and sustainable’. “Having said that, while Minister Goyal acknowledges that price capping of medical devices had reduced costs, we like to point out, price control goes against patient interest by failing to reward innovative technologies thereby limiting patient choice for current and future medical device innovations,” said the statement.

“It is critical to look at the quality of healthcare available to patients in India. In this context, we hope that the government looks at policies that will promote the environment for quality innovation for this technology-driven sector. We continue to urge the government to opt for a more scientific approach such as trade margin rationalization from the first point of sale (i.e. sale to distributor) to address inefficiencies in the healthcare delivery system that burdens patients,” the AdvaMed stated adding, “In addition, as part of this patient centric approach, AdvaMed renews its call for globally harmonised regulations to ensure best in-patient safety and product performance which will bring in transparency and encourage innovation.”

The Medical Technology Association of India or MTaI in its statement expressed optimism over the Government’s announcements.

Mr Pavan Choudary, DG, MTaI stated: “By bringing Health and Artificial Intelligence together on the agenda the Government has set a very progressive Human Resource tone. The national program on AI should be unfolded by co-opting knowledgeable stakeholders from the 9 domains that are being targeted.”

“The AIIMS announced in Haryana is welcome. All the AIIMS in the making, including this one, should be monitored for speedy commissioning,” he added, “The commitment to pursue progress in Medical Devices as almost a mission, is heartening and is reflective of this government’s understanding that this sector is of keystone importance.”