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Regional conference, exhibition marks Malaysian medical device industry growth

Rachel Soon
Medical Writer
06 Dec 2019
L-R: Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, Health Minister; Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Prime Minister of Malaysia; and Dato’ Seri Dr Chen Chaw Min, MOH Secretary General, officiating the opening of MyMEDEX 2019 and IMDC 2019.

For many, the recent 2nd Malaysia Medical Device Expo 2019 (MyMEDEX 2019) and International Medical Device Conference 2019 (IMDC 2019) marked a new milestone in the development of the local medical device industry.

Held at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC) in October, an estimated 150 companies from 20 countries came together for the combined conference and exhibition, making the exhibition “the largest of its kind in the region”, according to the organizers.

The events aimed to showcase the latest technologies and innovations in medical devices, as well as bring together various industry leaders, service providers, medical practitioners, regulators, investors, distributors, start-ups, and key players for networking and learning opportunities, they added.

The 3-day event was officiated by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Prime Minister of Malaysia, accompanied by Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, Health Minister; Dato’ Seri Dr Chen Chaw Min, MOH Secretary General; Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, MOH Director-General; Ahmad Shariff Hambali, Medical Device Authority (MDA) chief executive; and Shahul Hameed Dawood, My Events International founder and president.

Speaking at the joint opening ceremony, Dzulkefly said that the MOH aimed to protect public health and safety by preventing substandard, unsafe, and ineffective medical devices from reaching the market, while still facilitating the growth of the medical device trade and industry.

“For the year 2018, a total of 18,024 device applications have been registered, compared to 6,032 in 2017,” said Dzulkefly. “The increment undoubtedly shows that the medical device industry is developing rapidly; it is the MOH’s and the MDA’s purpose to ensure the safety and performance of these devices.”

He added that this was an indication of Malaysia’s recognition by the global market as a reliable producer of medical devices, and that the country had the capability and capacity to attract foreign direct investment, with market confidence enabling more locals to embark on joint ventures with foreign companies.

“As the nation moves towards Industrial Revolution 4.0 […] it is crucial that industry players continue innovating and revolutionising their product development, manufacturing processes, and business models,” said Mahathir in his opening speech. “I have, however, always reminded industrialists and entrepreneurs that, as much as we do not have the choice but to embrace new technological advancements if we wish to remain competitive, it is equally important not to forget that these advancements must benefit the people equally.”

Mahathir and Dzulkefly officiated the exchange of two Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) between local and overseas companies for joint ventures in the further development of healthcare resources. These were between Qualitas Medical Group Sdn Bhd and the Rwanda Biomedical Centre, Rwanda, for the development of accessible primary and secondary healthcare in rural Rwanda; and Chulia Capital Resources Sdn Bhd and Madina Mentari Utama, Indonesia, for hospital facilities and support services in Malaysia and the Asian region.

A third MoU was also signed at the event between Pharmaniaga Bhd and Waterbay Sdn Bhd for the development of mobile dental chairs, as part of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI)’s Vendor Development Programme, of which Pharmaniaga is one of seven anchor partners.

MyMEDEX 2019 and IMDC 2019 were organized collaboratively by the MDA and My Events International, with the endorsement of the MOH and the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) and the support of the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA).

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