Journey of Indian Medtech Sector from Import Dependence towards Self-Reliance: COVID-19 wakes-up the Giant
COVID-19 has been declared as a pandemic by WHO due to its alarming levels of spread and severity. During this global pandemic, medical devices and diagnostics have a key role to play to effectively manage the rising number of cases globally. At its onset, the situation was particularly challenging in India with huge population and highly import dependent medical devices sector. Amidst the pandemic, the Government of India through its flagship ‘Make in India’ initiative relied heavily on the Indian manufacturers to meet the rising demand of essential healthcare equipments for the country. This was the time for the Indian medical device industry to scale-up and balance the demand-supply issues. The Industry, during these testing times, experienced various challenges and opportunities. With enabling policies provided by the Govt. of India, the Industry stood upto the challenges and scaled-up multiple folds to provide medical devices and diagnostics as per the country’s requirements and even meet a part of the global requirements through exports. Now when India surges to become self-sustainable or Aatm Nirbhar, the medical device industry seeks Government support in terms of various policy initiatives to create an enabling ecosystem for the indigenous medical device industry to realise its potential. This article covers the various challenges and opportunities faced by the Indian medical device industry during this phase, how the indigenous industry responded to these challenges and the way forward for making the country Self-Sustainable and a leading exporter of the world in the medical device sector.
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