Though dealers and importers claimed there is no policy regarding imports and production of medical and surgical equipments, Health Ministry authorities say otherwise
Due to the huge demand of surgical instruments throughout the year the market for it has been growing. But Bangladesh has been unable to capitalize on this as the market here is totally dependent on imports.
Every year, importers bring in medical equipments, devices, disposables, electro-medical equipments and technologies, laboratory equipments, surgical equipments and accessories from several countries, and pay a huge amount of money. Dealers and sellers say they have been left furstrated due to the lack of local producers.
There are three or four companies in Bangladesh who have been manufacturing these medical products for years but they are not sufficient. People related to the business believe there are bigger opportunities for local companies because of the huge demand.
Bangladesh Medical Association (BMA) market is the biggest marketplace for medical instruments. According to BMA Market Owner Society, there are around 120 shops in the market, all of which sell imported items.
Akram Hossain, convener of BMA Market Owner Society, said: “We usually import medical and surgical instruments from China, Germany, England and other countries and around 75% of the items are being imported from China alone.
“The most frustrating issue is that every year we sell instruments worth around Tk350 crore but no company from Bangladesh has come forward to produce such items,” he added.
According to his information, they also import surgical scissors from Pakistan.
Another shop owner, Hossain Shohid, said: “The price of imported items is high but the quality of the equipments is not good enough. Sometimes it is the cause of death of patients.”
He claimed that if our native producers produce surgical equipments, we could save a huge amount of money and get quality products.
He also alleged that there are no measures to examine the quality of the imported products.
Dealers claimed that sometimes importers bring in unauthorized equipments that may cause infection.
Though dealers and importers claimed there is no policy regarding imports and production of medical and surgical equipments, Health Ministry authorities say otherwise.
According to sources at the Health Ministry, importers and producers are required to apply and get a licence. Even dsitribution of items needs approval.
Before producing medical and surgical equipment, producers need a trade mark licence, design trademarks, quality assurance certificate from BSTI and also a certificate from Fire Service.