New Delhi: The recent hike in customs duty on import of medical equipment and medical devices could adversely impact the affordability of healthcare, industry body FICCI said on Wednesday.
The hike "in import duty of medical equipment and devices and the resultant cost implications on care provision are likely to affect affordability of medical care in the country," FICCI said.
Commenting on the development, FICCI Medical Devices Forum Chairman Probir Das said: "In light of Make in India's realisation and continued affordable healthcare access in the country, the increase in customs duties should be reviewed".
Manufacturing of high-end and complex equipment and devices such as MRIs, CTs and new generation heart valves require technology transfer, ecosystem for manufacturing all of which are time consuming, FICCI Medical Electronics Forum Chairman Milan Rao said.
"Hence, any such duty increase for technologically advanced equipment and devices must be introduced in a phased manner over 3-5 years," he added.
The move has already been opposed by Apex healthcare industry body NATHEALTH which said: "expressed serious concerns on the recent hike in customs duty on import of medical equipment and medical devices and its adverse impact on the overall healthcare ecosystem."