New Delhi: In India, the medical technology sector is valued at over $900 million and one, which is tipped to grow at a rapid 15% per annum. A burgeoning middle class that has both the spending power and the awareness to demand better healthcare is prompting private hospitals to step up facilities and bring in the latest medical equipment to perform complex medical procedures.
Are we indeed ready to meet this demand? Lack of innovation, inverted duty structures, and little economies of scale have meant that manufacturing of high-end medical equipment, including MRI machines, patient monitors, CT scanners, for example, is not being undertaken in India.
International companies, like Philips (headquartered in Netherlands) who have a strong presence in India, are not manufacturing medical equipment here yet, but are beginning to make strides in innovation. Siemens (headquartered in Germany) has been manufacturing sophisticated medical equipment, like X-Ray machines in India for the last 50 years. However, domestic market for technologically advanced medical equipment continues to be low with critical components needed for assembly not being available, making the manufacturing process that much more challenging.
The need of the hour is to bring together the medical industry, government, hospitals, and technology partners to formulate solutions.