The Union Cabinet on Wednesday gave its nod to the National Medical Devices Policy, which is expected to help the sector expand to $50 billion or over ₹4-lakh crore by 2030, from its current size of around $11 billion or over ₹90,000 crore.

Addressing the media, Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said the new policy aims systematic development and expansion of the sector.

It will also facilitate and guide the sector through a set of strategies that will cover six broad areas of policy interventions — regulatory streamlining, enabling infrastructure, facilitating R&D and innovation, attracting investments, human resources development and brand positioning & awareness creation.

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Reducing imports

“The new policy will help in reducing the imports and promoting exports,” the Minister said. Presently, India’s share in the global medical devices market is estimated to be 1.5 per cent. The country also meets 75 per cent of its device requirement through imports.

The Centre has already initiated the implementation of PLI scheme for medical devices and extended support in setting up four medical devices parks in Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh.

Nursing colleges

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs also approved the establishment of 157 new nursing colleges in colocation with existing medical colleges established since 2014. The move will add approximately 15,700 nursing graduates every year and will further ensure quality, affordable and equitable nursing education in the country, particularly in underserved districts.

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The total financial implication of the move will be ₹1,570 crore. Uttar Pradesh will see the maximum number of colleges (27) set up, while Rajasthan will have 23 and Madhya Pradesh, 14. “The decision will remove the imbalance in terms of nursing colleges as 40 per cent of the existing colleges are in southern India,” said Anurag Singh Thakur, Minister for Information & Broadcasting.