The Indian government has taken a significant step towards strengthening the country’s medical devices industry by approving a ₹480 crore scheme aimed at developing a skilled talent pool. This three-year initiative is poised to provide essential financial support to government institutions for the implementation of various courses related to medical devices, with the goal of upgrading these institutions to global standards.
The scheme’s approval follows the recent introduction of the National Medical Device Policy, 2023, which envisions the growth of India’s medical devices sector from its current $11 billion to an impressive $50 billion by the year 2030.
Meeting the Demand for Skilled Workforce
One of the primary objectives of this scheme is to ensure a steady supply of skilled professionals across the medical device sector. To achieve this, the Department of Pharmaceuticals is poised to leverage the available resources within the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship. This strategic move aims to facilitate skilling, reskilling, and upskilling of individuals within the medical sector, catering to the evolving needs of the industry.
Multidisciplinary Courses for Medical Devices
Under the new scheme, dedicated multidisciplinary courses for medical devices will be introduced in existing institutions. This initiative is designed to guarantee the availability of a highly skilled workforce capable of addressing the demands of futuristic medical technologies, high-end manufacturing, and cutting-edge research.
By nurturing a talent pool well-versed in electronics, metallurgy, electrical engineering, polymer science, rubber technology, chemical engineering, biomedical engineering, and nanotechnology, India aims to position itself as a formidable contender in the global medical devices market.
International Collaboration for Technological Advancement
In addition to fostering a skilled workforce, the government also plans to foster partnerships with foreign academia and industry organizations. This collaborative approach seeks to drive the development of innovative medical technologies within India, enabling the country to compete effectively on the world stage. The objective is to reduce India’s dependence on imported medical devices, which currently stands at a substantial 80%.
The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic underscored the importance of self-sufficiency in the production of medical devices. As international supply chains faced disruptions, India had to take urgent steps to manufacture essential medical equipment, such as masks, PPE kits, gloves, sanitizers, thermometers, oximeters, and various types of ventilators, both invasive and non-invasive. This experience highlighted the need for a robust and self-reliant medical devices industry in the country.
Strengthening Expertise Across Varied Medical Device Technologies
Medical Devices Policy, which seeks to enhance expertise in diverse technologies related to medical devices, including electronics, metallurgy, electrical engineering, polymers, rubber, chemical engineering, biomedical engineering, and nanotechnology, all while maintaining rigorous regulatory and quality management systems. This initiative not only promises a brighter future for the Indian medical devices sector but also reinforces the nation’s commitment to healthcare innovation and self-sufficiency.
Key takeaways for competitive examination
- Forum Coordinator of the Association of Indian Medical Device Industry (AIMED): Rajiv Nath