Medical Technology Could Save Exchequer Over €200 million annually

October 2010 Dublin

Using the latest technology in medical devices, diagnostic equipment and healthcare ICT could save the health services and the Exchequer over €200 million every year, by improving hospital processes, surgery techniques and treatment as well as reducing hospital stays.

IMSTA, the association representing medical technology supply companies in Ireland, said that assessing the real cost-benefits rather than simply looking at costs would make a tangible difference to people’s lives, the Exchequer and provide better value for money for the taxpayers.

Announcing details of the IMSTA Medical Technology Showcase at the Alexander Hotel, Dublin, on Wednesday 6th October, Mr. Justin Carty, IMSTA Chief Executive, said that the Government and health administrators must focus on how technology that improves patient’s lives can provide real value for money.

“For example IMSTA reviewed nine medical technology products supplied by member companies. The results show that, as well as improving patient care, increased use of these products could provide savings of over €40 million every year.

The health service needs a practical technology assessment procedure as the ‘one-fits-all’ approach is not working. Medical technology is not the same as bread or milk and cannot be procured as such. The Department of Health and Children and the HSE must embrace medical technology as a critical enabler in the delivery of cost-effective, high-quality care,” he said.

Mr Carty urged the HSE and the Department to work with the industry so it can share its international experience and find ways to ensure patients get the care they are entitled to, within the constraints of the current economic climate.

“If you stop purchasing insulin pumps for those with type-1 diabetes, these patients will require increased monitoring, more in-patient care and increased demands on A&E facilities,” he explained.

IMSTA is hosting a showcase in the Alexander Hotel, Dublin on Wednesday 6th October from 11a.m. till 4pm.

With over 20 exhibitors attending, this showcase will inform stakeholders of the key role the industry plays in Irish healthcare and the contribution its research and development plays in keeping Exchequer costs down.

Key leaders in healthcare, civil servants, representatives from relevant State agencies and health insurers will be able to see the benefits of medical technology in modern Ireland.

The medical technology industry in Ireland currently employs 30,000 people and total exports in 2009 exceeded €6.5 billion. The diagnostic device sales in Europe were €10 billion in 2009, with Irish sales reaching an estimated €81 million.

Details of the 9 costs savings technologies researched by IMSTA are available from Justin Carty, IMSTA’s CEO (086 250 66 22)