KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 15): There is a need for a national authority to oversee the selection and procurement of medical devices which help healthcare personnel in the country provide better health care, said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
He said this body was essential as it would address the safety and performance issues of the medical devices.
“A Medical Device Authority that is entrusted to address public health and safety issues related to medical devices and to facilitate the medical device trade and industry can be the answer to it,” he said in his speech when launching the International Medical Device Conference and Malaysia Medical Device Exhibition 2019 here today.
He said the contemporary health system relies on the contribution of human resources and medical technologies, where medical devices are an aspect of health technologies as they equip health care providers with tools to perform their functions effectively and efficiently.
He added that the concerted efforts taken by Malaysia have ranked the country first in the Best Healthcare in the World category of the 2019 International Living Annual Global Retirement Index.
Meanwhile, Mahathir said in ensuring Malaysia remains a “preferred choice” for foreign investors, the government is mindful of the need to provide a conducive environment to encourage the inflow of foreign capital and technology, as well as to strengthen the competitiveness of Malaysia’s industries in global market.
“Everyone in the business have a role to play. The Malaysian Government through the Medical Device Authority should be supported by the private sector, non-governmental organisations as well as the higher learning institutions,” he said.
He said hence the significance of the Medical Device event today, where all parties involved, from start-ups, mid-level entrepreneurs right up to the big players, along with the international players, drive the industry to the next level to make Malaysia the international hub to source medical devices.
The prime minister added that as the nation moves towards the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the accelerating pace of innovation in the medical device industry is seen in the effort by local companies beginning to undertake research and development in their manufacturing processes.
“It is crucial that industry players continue innovating and revolutionising their product development, manufacturing processes, and business models.
“I have however always reminded industrialists and entrepreneurs that as much as we do not have a choice but to embrace the new technological advancements if we wish to remain competitive, it is equally important not to forget that these advancements must benefit the people equally,” he said.