By Weindrila Sen-
Punjab and Haryana High court have probed the centre to assess whether imported and refurbished ventilators can be reused for critical patients and if the ban on import of reused ventilators can be lifted.
As per the last hearing on this case, the import of used ventilator was prohibited based on the following considerations-
1. It would be difficult to ensure the quality of the refurbished products in terms of quality, safety, effectiveness, ease of maintenance, and repair. Also, the availability of spare parts of the reused product can be an issue.
2. In case the equipment is not disinfected and sanitized appropriately, it can pose as a life threat to critical care patients. As patients in the ICU are very sensitive and susceptible to infections, ensuring proper sanitization of the refurbished products needs to be ensured.
3. As the reused products have a shorter shelf life, it would add to the e-waste of the country in a shorter period.
4. Import of reused ventilators from other countries can hit the “Make in India” economic model and might also create unnecessary competition in the domestic healthcare equipment manufacturing sector of the Indian market.
On Tuesday, the bench noting the report said:
“The 32 used ventilators, in this case, are of reputed brands and were found to be in working condition; however they may be put to use subject to clarification of disinfection, effectiveness, and assured maintenance by the refurbishing company”.
The Bench said that if the ventilators are put to use, it may be helpful for serious patients. It further ordered to submit a copy of the report to the Additional Solicitor General of India, Mr. Satya Pal Jain, and the refurbishing company is also asked to submit a certificate regarding disinfection and effectiveness.