Pakistan’s Ministry of Science and Technology signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Health Services Ministry to begin manufacturing electromedical devices such as ventilators in Pakistan.
The agreement applies to the production, clinical trials, regulation and export of the medical equipment.
The Pakistan Engineering Council will supervise the design and development of prototypes before the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan could allow their use.
The PEC has also been given charge of vetting the devices for technical flaws and quality, as well as vetting manufacturing facilities for their standards of practice.
It has more than 300,000 registered, professional engineers and technical experts with a backup of 126 engineering universities.
The engineering body will also process applications for clinical trials on simulators, animals and human subjects before approval by DRAP.
Additionally, PEC has to formulate, approve and distribute industrial, quality, safety, manufacturing codes and standards for EM devices which will be vetted by Pakistan Standards Quality Control Authority.
The PEC will then function as a single organisation notified by DRAP to coordinate international quality and Pakistan standardised production.
DRAP will be supervising the release of funds to PEC for research and development. These funds will be allocated by the science ministry through the newly set up Pakistan Science Federation.
The PSF will also set up a research council and testing centre for the medical equipment under the Pakistan Innovation Lab Directorate of the PEC.
The agreement, signed between Science Minister Fawad Chaudhry and PM’s Special Assistant on Health Dr Zafar Mirza, said Pakistan was solely depending upon imported electromedical devices.
“These items are imported in large quantity and have been a continuous burden on the economy,” the MoU read.
The framework under this would spark off innovation and local engineering solutions in this field and facilitate the local industry.
It would also improve healthcare facilities, reduce import bills and create jobs.