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Need to develop standards for medical textiles, Mr Pradhan
Sep '09
The need to develop standards for medical textiles for each product based on actual needs of the medical professionals and hospital administrations was underlined here by Mr.S K Pradhan,Additional Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare at 'TECHNOTEX – 2009', a Workshop-cum Exhibition on Strengthening Government-Industry-Consumer Partnership in Meditec, organized by the Ministry of Textiles and FICCI.

Mr. Pradhan said, affordability and quality in the delivery of healthcare to the people were of paramount importance. Therefore, there was an urgent need to bring down the cost of materials used by medical professionals to ensure larger coverage of the patient population and less costly treatment.

The quality aspects, he stressed, were critical to ensure a clean environment, patient safety, comfort to the user and disposal of waste products. The cleanliness in the delivery of healthcare in the country left a lot to be desired, he said, adding that this was vital for containing secondary infections.

Mr. Pradhan emphasised the need to create an awareness amongst consumers of the quality aspects so that they start demanding non-infectable and comfortable medical textile products. In this context, he said, the Centres of Excellence being promoted by the Ministry of Textiles, could play a key role in developing quality awareness modules for the benefit of healthcare professionals and the consumers.

In his address, Mr. Shishir Jaipuria, Chairman, FICCI Taskforce on Technical Textiles, pointed out that the first and foremost step in promoting manufacturing of meditech in the country was to amend the Indian Drugs & Cosmetics Act to include new generation of medical textile items. He stressed the need for developing standards for medical textile items; encouragement to the conversion technologies for technical textiles, including medical textile. FICCI has suggested that machinery for technical textiles could also be given the option of 20 to 25% capital subsidy under TUFS in lieu of the 5% interest subsidy, subject to a ceiling. In order to give a boost to the export of textile items, he suggested that the government should provide DEPB rates for these new medical textile items to make Indian products competitive in world markets.

In his remarks, Mr. Bhupendra Singh, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Textiles, noted that the medical textiles sector had an annual growth potential of 15%. Form the current market size of Rs 1600 crore, the industry had the potential to reach a size of Rs 3000 crore by 2011-12.

Dr. Arindam Basu, Director, South India Textile Research Association (SITRA), gave a presentation on 'Engineered Medical Textiles for Better Healthcare Facilities'. He underscored the need to adopt European and Japanese standards for non-woven disposables as currently, the consumers have an aversion to buying these products because of the absence of Indian standards. He also suggested that non-woven medical textile items as an option along with woven bandages and gauges should be included inb Schedule F-2 of the Drugs & Cosmetics Act as also in pharmacopoeia.

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