The Sri Lanka Chamber of Medical Devices Industry (SLCMDI) appointed its new committee for 2018 at the 3rd AGM held at the Cinnamon Grand Colombo recently. The Chief Guest was Minister of Health, Dr. Rajitha Senaratne. Chairman of the National Medicines Regulatory Authority, Prof. Asita De Silva also attended the event along with officials from the State Pharmaceuticals Corporation, Biomedical Engineering Services, Department of Public Finance and other stakeholders of the industry, a press release stated.

Minister of Health, Dr.Senaratne congratulated the efforts of the Chamber and wished it success. He also stressed the importance of local manufacture of medical devices similar to that of the pharmaceuticals industry through the State Pharmaceuticals and State Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Corporations.

Executive Director of George Steuart Health, Eran Ranasinghe took over the presidency for 2018 following two years as secretary of the Chamber. Eran succeeded Saman Hulangamuwa MD of Diligence Healthcare, who was president in 2017. In his inaugural address, President Eran Ranasinghe said, "The Chamber represents the collective voice of the medical device importers. Since inception, over 40 members have rallied around the chamber, strengthening its progress. Our quest is to create lasting solutions to the medical devices industry in a regulated, equal opportunity and ethical environment. Representing the collective voice of the medical device importers, the chamber has a growing influence on national legislations. While the chamber does act as an advocate for its members on the various issues, it is also involved in championing issues affecting the medical devices importers at large."

Other elected office bearers were Tilak Fernando (Vice President), Niranjan Selvadurai (Vice President), Saman Peiris (Secretary), Sanjeeva Samarasinghe (Assistant. Secretary) and Pradeep Amarawardena (Treasurer). Other council members include A R James, Angelo Nicholas, Shiran De Mel, S. Prabu, Vijith Madampe, Indika Rajakaruna and T. Sayandhan.

In recent years, the medical devices industry has grown steadily and is predicted to continue to grow, in the next five-years as well. Medical devices remain a necessity to healthcare due to advancements in technology. The global medical device market is expected to reach an estimated $342.9 billion by 2021 with a compound average growth rate of 4.6% from 2016 to 2021. The major drivers for this have been identified as growth in healthcare expenditure, increasing health awareness, and the ageing population..

With over 400 registered importers, the demand for medical devices in Sri Lanka is expected to grow up to 165 Million US Dollars with a steady growth rate of 9.5% in 2018. The budget allocation for healthcare for 2018 in Sri Lanka is estimated at Rs 178 billion with over Rs 8 billion dedicated to the purchase of medical equipment for the government sector alone.

One of the prime objectives of the chamber has been implementation of the Device Classification Guidelines in Sri Lanka. The proposal has been discussed with the Ministry and NMRA at length. The SLCMDI's main goal for 2018 is the successful implementation of these guidelines. Chairman of the NMRA Prof. Asita De Silva in his address to the gathering also explained the success of the NMRA since its inception and disclosed future plans, the release concluded.