Country nearing shortage of medical, diagnostic equipment


): Chairman of National Business Group of FPCCI, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday said the government should take note of the shortage of medical and diagnostic equipment in the country.

The shortage can compromise the working of public sector and private hospitals resulting in a new health crisis, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that medical devices include everything from a simple thermometer, face mask and syringes to MRI machines and also all type of diagnostic kits from blood glucose monitoring to Covid testing and their availability should be ensured.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that on the directions of the Supreme Court, the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) framed rules and regulations about health devices in 2017 but requirements were kept very stringent.

Around two thousand devices were registered over the last three years but some 48 thousand items have not been registered which include tools to detect and cure Covid.

Due to high demand in the country the DRAP allowed a grace period that expired on Jan 15, 2019, and now importers are facing serious challenges in importing life-saving medical devices including those used in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of COVID, he said.