Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 04/03/2014 -- Highlights from the Region
Bangladesh has virtually no domestic manufacturing industry and only produces a negligible number of low-tech medical items. Almost all medical goods have to be imported.
In 2012, the Bangladeshi medical device market was estimated at US$148.5 million, equal to just US$0.9 per capita. The per capita spending rate is one of the lowest in the world, similar to Indonesia.
After a sharp rise in 2010, Bangladesh's medical imports increased by just 1.1% to US$129.1 million in 2011. Data up to September 2012 however, reveals a decrease in imports over the previous 12 months, with a fall of 9.1% to US$109.5 million over the period.
Future increased demand for medical equipment and supplies will come mainly from private sector hospitals and medical centres.
Government proposals to boost health insurance cover from 25% to 75% by 2017 will be hampered by a lack of healthcare infrastructure in India. Given the lack of healthcare infrastructure, the government's plans mark an opportunity for private investors, and manufacturers of medical devices, as new facilities are constructed and existing ones are upgraded.
Detailed regulation of medical devices is still under consideration. In October 2005, a number of in vivo medical devices were added to the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, bringing them into regulatory control. New guidelines for sterile medical devices came into force on 1st March 2006. In March 2009, clarification was published, which provided a list of additional sterile medical devices to be included under the provisions of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act and Rules. In October 2012, the government was working on the revision of rules in recognition of the need to consider medical devices as a separate category. The new regulations will be published as the Drugs, Cosmetics and Medical Device bill.
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The healthcare sector is poorly funded by the government and the private sector is only affordable to a small minority of the population. Total spending on healthcare is equal to around 2.0% of GDP, which is considered low by world standards. With the Ministry of Health dismantled in 2011, responsibility for healthcare was devolved to provincial governments meaning there are regional disparities in the quality of care.
Hospital and health centre facilities are rudimentary and poorly equipped in the majority of cases. Medical equipment are often imported, second-hand, from developed countries and operated by untrained personnel, limiting their effective use. The primary sector is underused and per capita medical personnel levels are low.
Surgical instruments make up the bulk of a limited domestic manufacturing sector. This takes place in facilities in the Punjab region of Sialkot and equipment is of a high standard, although the majority is destined for export overseas.
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