Centre-State lack of coordination delivers the medical supply chain a sucker punch

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Medical Technology Association of India (MTaI), which
represents leading research-based medical technology companies that have a large
footprint in manufacturing, R&D and healthcare worker training in India, is in constant
engagement with the government to tackle the current COVID-19 situation in India.
MTaI in a statement released said, “The central government has expeditiously moved
through the Department of Pharmaceuticals (DOP) Secretary as well as through the
National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) and the Health Ministry to underscore
the exemption of Medical Devices and Equipment manufacturing, warehousing and
distribution from the lockdown. The centre is a disseminator of directives however, the
implementation rests with state governments and local level administrators. The latter it
seems have not understood that this 21-day lockdown is to prepare the hospitals and
are clamping down manufacturing, warehousing, distribution, of medical devices and
equipment. Transport trucks carrying these vital preparatory materials are stuck at city
and state borders. The manufacturing and warehousing staffs, though armed with copies
of the exemptions, are hitting a wall explaining to SHOs and local bodies that their
products are needed in the hospitals and their units need to run.
These companies are fully compliant with the lock down as all their offices are closed as
commanded by the government and all personnel are working from home. But without
their manufacturing units, warehouses, transporters and courier companies working, this
lockdown will do nothing for the preparation of hospitals and healthcare system which it
is meant for.
We would like to reiterate that in the absence of a vaccine or proven drug it is the
medical devices industry that is shouldering the war against COVID-19. We appeal the
state government and local level administrators that medical device supply chain be
immediately resuscitated by issuing e-passes and facilitating medical device movement
between cargo-manufacturer-warehouse-distributor-hospital.”
About Medical Technology Association of India

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