The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved National Medical Devices Policy 2023 to promote domestic manufacturing and help the sunrise sector grow from the present USD 11 billion to USD 50 billion in the next five years and reduce import dependence.
The policy focuses on six strategies to tap the potential of the sector with the ‘implementation of action plan’. Briefing media after the Cabinet meeting, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said there has been a rising demand for medical devices in India, and so, there is a need to promote domestic manufacturing. The minister also said that in the globalised world there would also be imports, but the aim of the National Medical Devices Policy 2023 is to meet the maximum requirements from locally manufactured products.
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The medical devices sector in India is an essential and integral constituent of the Indian healthcare sector. The six strategies planned under the policy are Regulatory Streamlining; Enabling Infrastructure; Facilitating R&D and Innovation; Attracting Investments in the Sector; Human Resources Development; and Brand Positioning and Awareness Creation. The Indian medical devices sector’s contribution has become even more prominent as India supported the domestic and global battle against the COVID-19 pandemic through the large-scale production of medical devices and diagnostic kits like ventilators, rapid antigen test kits, RT-PCR kits, PPE Kits and N-95 masks, an official release said.
The policy is expected to provide the required support and directions to strengthen the medical devices industry into a competitive, self-reliant, resilient and innovative industry that caters to the healthcare needs of India and the world. The policy aims to place the medical devices sector on an accelerated path of growth with a patient-centric approach to meet the evolving healthcare needs of patients. Last year, the government had floated an approach paper on the draft national medical devices policy 2022 for consultation. The market size of the medical devices sector in India is estimated to be USD 11 billion (about Rs 90,000 crore) in 2020 and its share in the global medical device market is projected to be 1.5 per cent.
The government is implementing a production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for medical devices and extended support for setting up 4 medical device parks in Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh, Mandaviya said. Under the PLI scheme for medical devices, till now, a total of 26 projects have been approved, with a committed investment of Rs 1,206 crore and out of this, so far, an investment of Rs 714 crore has been achieved, the release said. Under the scheme, a total of 14 projects producing 37 products have been commissioned.
Domestic manufacturing of high-end medical devices, which have started, include Linear Accelerator, MRI Scan, CT-Scan, Mammogram, C-Arm, MRI Coils, and high-end X-ray tubes. On the policy, the release further said that while various government departments have undertaken programmatic interventions to encourage the sector, the current policy aims to put in place a comprehensive set of focus areas for the growth of the sector in a coordinated manner.