India, being a developing country, is still endeavouring to fill the gap across diverse verticals and match the global standards of various industries. One of the sectors which require attention is the healthcare industry. The health infrastructure in the country has not been in the best shape; accounting as low as one doctor per 1,457 citizens. In a country with a population of approximately 137 Cr people, the medicare facilities are expected to be better than the present numbers. Therefore, to bridge the gap and cater to the patients with better and technologically-enhanced treatments, India is now manufacturing its own medical equipment as an effort to encourage employment as well as be self-reliant.
With the current coronavirus outbreak catching the country off-guard, it is only getting tougher for the healthcare sector to bear the hit and treat the infected patients and follow up on their recovery. Initially, a significant factor obstructing the healthcare workers to assist the patients was the lack of ventilators for the number of active cases. Although the government has addressed this concern and is putting in efforts to uplift the industry by encouraging the manufacturing of ventilators in India, there is still a lot to be done such as verifying the background of manufacturers and their process of producing the life support system.
Most of the manufacturers to whom the contracts are being given are not well-acquainted with the sector of medicare and its intricacies; thus not being able to produce the best results. With the stakes getting higher every day, it wouldn’t be a wise call to let newcomers in the manufacturing industry take the lead. The unprecedented times call for certified players who are technically-experienced experts in the field of manufacturing.
The functionality of the ventilators is often affected due to their models and technical glitches due to outdated designs and this concern can only be dealt with if one has got the best-in-the-industry people working relentlessly while heading the manufacturing operations. Eliminating discrepancies in ventilator readings and maintaining healthy levels of oxygen in patients’ bloodstream is achievable when the ventilators are made with utmost precision by skilled players. Instead of filing orders under public sector undertakings (PSU), which is already focusing on the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), India should work towards bringing forth the leading manufacturers and encourage them to lead the others to bring a paradigm shift in the indigenous production of the medical devices. What India presently requires is opting for manufacturers which already have a track record of manufacturing life support systems and a background in medicare to overcome the shortcomings and cater to patients more diligently.
The current pandemic might have had a chunk of inexperienced players stepping in the industry to surge their profits but what should be paid heed to are the veterans of the medicare equipment to take the lead and stabilise the situation. One of the factors which can truly help in escalating the quality of India-made ventilators along with assisting the medicare experts in catering to the patients includes encouraging the MSMEs. Boosting the MSMEs will further ensure that the country is producing new-gen ventilators with latest medical machinery to minimise the impact of the virus and thus increasing the recovery rate, stabilising the critical COVID-19 situation at hand. Along with relying on established brands, this will aid in introducing MSMEs as a helping hand, skyrocketing the overall productivity and allowing the vertical to share the load while ensuring the supply isn’t being hampered or compromised with. The technical advancements by this measure will further put India on the map and make it globally competitive while proving its mettle in the healthcare industry.
Addressing medical bio-waste and treating it appropriately while focusing on the upliftment of the medicare sector by introducing quality ventilators will serve as another ladder leading to the development of the country.
While we strive to be self-reliant, it is equally important for us to prioritise and align only experienced manufacturers and promote premium quality life support being introduced in the hospitals. It is quite a commendable initiative to reduce import from abroad while encouraging Make in India but the preferences should include the doyens of the industry taking over and leading on the frontlines while carving a path for others to follow. It is imperative for us, as a country, to produce quality, functional batches of ventilators to support the ongoing crisis. The quality should not be compromised while we make significant strides to become self-reliant.