Health Policy

Govt mulls medical devices price regulation Act

The Government would soon bring in a medical devices Act in a bid to regulate prices of healthcare equipment. Stating that 30 to 40 per cent of healthcare costs comprised diagnostic kits and other medial equipment, Union Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal said the Act will ensure an ISO certification procedure for medical equipment and it make manufactures of medical devices adhere to proper standards. A draft Bill in this regard would soon be presented in front of the Cabinet, Sibal said at a function here. “This initiative will reduce the cost of healthcare considerably by making it more competitive because we import them as of now instead of letting our own industry manufacture the devices,” he said. “This is a way of ensuring that there is parity in the industry,” he added. Counting India as among the front runners of the healthcare sector in the world, Sibal said, “Once we have the demographic advantage of having the lowest cost in healthcare, then we can take leverage of that in the international market”. The minister went on to say that India has a dismal ratio as far as the number of doctors per thousand people was concerned and this problem can only be addressed by setting up more medical colleges as well as institutes for paramedics and nurses. Observing that the Western model of healthcare was not popular here as many people, specially the middle-class, were not able to afford the high costs of healthcare, he said, adding that India needs to find out what is the road forward and not emulate any particular model.

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