The Indian healthcare sector has become one of the largest sectors in the country, both in terms of revenue and employment. The market size is expected to increase three-fold to Rs. 8.6 Trillion by the year 2022. The Government’s expenditure on health sector has grown from 1.2 percent in FY14 to 1.4 percent n FY18.

With the country experiencing 22-25 percent growth in medical tourism, there is significant scope for enhancing healthcare services in the country. The Indian government is currently set to form a Medical Devices Development Council with the aim to reduce the country’s dependence on imported medical devices by promoting the manufacture of medical devices in the country. Likely to be notified by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, the council will soon spearhead policy initiatives to boost local manufacturing of medical devices, whilst ensuring that these products are of good quality and are capable of attracting investments in innovation through sops.

The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion will announce the formation of the council during the World Health Organization’s upcoming global conference on medical devices in Vishakhapatnam from December 13 to 15. “The government is now seriously considering to promote ‘Make in India’ for medical devices. This is evident from the fact that India has chosen to host the UN agency’s fourth global forum on medical devices”, an official said.

The government said that it would set up National Medical Devices Promotion Council (NMDPC) in order to boost manufacturing, attract investments and promote exports of the fast-growing sector. “As Indian manufacturing companies and startups move towards creating innovative products, the settling up of the council will spur domestic manufacturing in this sector,” the Commerce and Industry Ministry said in a statement. It also stated that the medical devices industry, pharmaceutical market research and top healthcare consulting firms in the country play a critical role in the healthcare ecosystem and is indispensable to achieve the goal of health for all citizens.

The market for medical devices in India is currently valued at around $10 Billion, growing annually at 10-12%. However, the imports constitute a majority of the medical device market in the country by catering to around 80% of the requirements. Even though the local medical industry in the country has been growing steadily in the last few years, the market for critical care products like stents, and orthopedic implants is still dominated by multinational players. The local players comment that though the recent price regulation by the government has helped, they still require support from in terms of other policy parameters and incentives to arrive at a level playing field.

The Indian government has made a number of achievements in recent years. As of September 23, 2018, Ayushman Bharat, the world’s largest government-funded healthcare scheme was launched. India is a land full of opportunities for the medical devices industry. Indian healthcare, the fastest growing sector is expected to reach $280 Billion by the year 2020. The country has become one of the leading destinations for high-end diagnostic services and pharmaceutical consulting with tremendous capital investment, thereby catering to a greater proportion of the population.

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