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News & Trends - MedTech & Diagnostics

Charting sovereign capability in diagnostics: PTA and MTPConnect join forces on policy implications

Health Industry Hub | September 13, 2023 |

MedTech & Diagnostics News: Dr Dharmica Mistry, Director of Diagnostics Industry Engagement at MTPConnect, and Dean Whiting, CEO of Pathology Technology Australia (PTA), joined Health Industry Hub to discuss the evolution of the diagnostics sector in Australia over the past decade and its critical contributions to patient care. They delved into the vulnerabilities exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia’s reliance on international suppliers for diagnostic products and the importance of addressing this issue.

Mr Whiting emphasised a striking reality: a staggering 97% of diagnostics utilised in Australia are imported.

“Around 30% of our supply chain for diagnostic products come through the Indo Pacific region. If you think about the potential geopolitical disturbances in that region, we don’t need to wait for the next pandemic to have potential supply chain challenges. We need to be thinking about this now, acting on it now and and starting to solve these problems now,” commented Mr Whiting.

The interview covered insights from the recently launched ADAPT report, highlighting extensive consultations with healthcare sector experts. The duo shared major challenges and opportunities identified during these consultations, shedding light on the current state of diagnostic capabilities in Australia.

“This is the first time we’ve investigated where the diagnostic products are coming into Australia and what our supply chain risks are. The data highlights the importance of what’s missing and how we need to be more prepared and somewhat self sufficient,” remarked Dr Mistry.

Furthermore, the interview explored the key recommendations outlined in the ADAPT report to enhance diagnostic capability and establish sovereign manufacturing capabilities within the country.

As for the next steps in implementing these recommendations, the Mr Whiting and Dr Mistry addressed potential policy and funding barriers that may arise. They outlined the strategies for overcoming these obstacles and ensuring the successful execution of the proposed improvements in the diagnostics sector.

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