MedTech to lift manufacturing

The Medical Technology Association (MTAA) is calling on the Government to develop a national strategy which will enable the manufacturing of medical technologies to reach its full potential.

Chief executive of MTAA, Anne Trimmer, says that the manufacturing and supply of life-saving devices, machines and other healthcare widgets could have a long term impact on the country’s economic growth, The Australian reported.

With a revenue posting of $8 billion, the industry is comparative in size to the automotive industry at $11bn or the wine industry which posted a revenue of $7bn last financial year.

Trimmer says that while Australia has the fundamentals to sustain industry in Australia, the ‘creation of policies,’ and more attention to the industry from the government is required.

"There's a complete absence of a commitment to Australian-developed products . . . it's really a very big challenge for Australian companies with innovative products to get uptake in our health system."

Currently, Australia suffers from a net deficit in trade in medical technology – importing significantly more than it exports.

Trimmer says that the right policies would create an ‘ecosystem’ for the industry, enabling greater unity between the research sector, corporations, the investment community and governments in a bid to support product development.

MTAA has been promoting the industry as a potential solution for the job losses sparked by the recent shut down of some automotive supply companies.

Trimmer says many of the core skills in the automotive industry complement those used in the manufacture of medical technologies and says the industry is vital in preventing further manufacturing jobs from heading offshore.

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