IMSTA, the association representing medical technology supply companies in Ireland, welcomed the new Minister for Health and provided him with an independent report on how medical technology improves patient healthcare, reduces in-patients hospital stays and can save the Government to €1 billion over the next 4 years.
IMSTA CEO, Mr. Justin Carty, said that the recently published industry report Investing in Medical Technology – Good for patients and Good for the economy clearly highlighted the important role the medical technology plays in improving healthcare and reducing costs.
“The Report calculates that €79 million annual savings can be achieved through the use of electronic patient records and a further €185 million can be saved every year in overall treatment costs. This can provide total savings of €264 million every year, which equates to over €1 billion in four years,” he said.
Two international speakers at the recent annual IMSTA conference provided delegates with information on how other EU States built innovation and technology into their health systems, contributing to better healthcare throughout the world.
Mr. Martyn Burke, University of York Health Economist told the conference that healthcare decision makers continued to be forced to make tough choices and health economics offered valuable information to decision makers to allow them to invest scarce resources efficiently.
“Using innovative medical technologies can potentially realise significant cost saving implications for health budgets. However this needs to be demonstrated in a manner consistent with reimbursement agencies’ requirements,” he said.
According to the Director, Innovative Technology Adoption Programme at the UK Department of Health, Mr. John Warrington, the UK public servants needed to find new innovation and technologies, talk to the industry, validate the results and savings claimed by the industry and prepare a plan for working with regions and the UK National Technology Adoption Centre (NTAC).
“Life sciences industries are critical in this regard and we needed to unlock innovation from industry. All stakeholders worked together and to date we have received 133 individual submissions from 74 manufacturers.
Some technologies compete with others, making it difficult to be precise about the available overall benefits, but ignoring double counting, manufacturers claim that up to fifty seven of these submissions offered £6bn in net efficiency benefits, and the top 22 account for £5.5bn of this total,” he explained.
IMSTA called on the new Government to draw on the UK experience and partner with this industry to ensure that the patients, the health system and the economy all benefit from the medical technology and jobs in the industry can be saved.
Mr. Carty said that the medical technology supply industry in Ireland is currently under pressure from the HSE for price cuts of up 30%.
“Rather than improving healthcare, such requirements are affecting patient care and putting hundreds of jobs in the sector at risk,
“65% of IMSTA member companies are small companies supplying medical goods and services to the HSE. The demands for massive price cuts are not realistic,” he said. Medical technology includes much more than just supplying equipment. The package provided by these companies also includes substantial support services, staff education, training, health promotion and round the clock clinical and biomedical support for life saving equipment,” he explained.
IMSTA advises the Government to investment more in medical technology, which would result in better patient outcomes, would reduce healthcare costs in the longer term and would support growth and employment in the sector.
10% of total Irish exports, valued at €7 billion annually, are generated by the medical technology industry. The global industry is forecast to grow at 10% per annum over the next 5-6 years and the market size will approach £300bn by 2015.
“Medical innovations, economic rewards and patient benefits do not just happen. Industrial policy is required to enable them to come to fruition. Insufficient Government support for the domestic market may threaten this opportunity and the substantial economic impact and patient benefits that could accrue. We have therefore made a number of important recommendations for Government action,” Mr Carty said.
The Irish medical technology industry currently employs 30,000 people mostly in high tech jobs. The sector generates sales close to €7 billion annually.
The Report shows that Ireland has the potential to become the location of choice for medical technology companies. In order to realise the potential, the Government must commit to investment in the industry and create a sustainable domestic market.
The report also discusses the role of medical technology and how the adoption of innovative technologies can improve patient outcomes and reduce overall treatment costs.
The medical technology (medtech) industry is responsible for the successful delivery of many aspects of everyday health care. Devices produced by the industry can be found in every GP’s office, hospital, health centre, ambulance and dentist office in the country.
IMSTA represents the medical technology supply industry in Ireland. Its’ member companies produce and market medical devices, diagnostic products and health information systems that are transforming health care through earlier disease detection, less invasive procedures and more effective treatments.
For full details of report see link below:
Investing in Medical Technology IMSTA Final 20 Jan 2011 (2)(1)