MTAA responds to sensationalist campaign

Sydney, NSW – Medical Technology Association of Australia (MTAA) CEO, Ian Burgess, has slammed a coordinated media campaign, attacking the medical technology industry and the Australian regulatory system, as inaccurate and sensationalist:

Media outlets have aired a number of segments alleging the inadequacy of the Australian regulatory environment, and the safety and reliability of medical devices.

We are disappointed at the irresponsible tone and the inaccuracies of the media coverage, which only serve to create unwarranted fear in the community and may cause Australians to avoid seeking treatment that would improve their quality of life.

Australia has one of the most highly regulated and robust assessment systems in the world for medical technology. The Therapeutic Goods Administration is highly regarded globally for its commitment to safeguarding the Australian community. To suggest otherwise is unsubstantiated and ludicrous.

Australians can be proud of the professionalism of the regulator and the MedTech industry in appropriately managing risk while ensuring patients are able to access innovative and life changing medical technologies.

It’s very disappointing to see Australian media outlets, such as the ABC, calling into question the integrity of the TGA, MedTech innovators and the dedicated Australians who work in the industry, by choosing to go down the path of sensationalism and biased reporting.

Medical devices in Australia have helped millions of Australians live more productive and fulfilling lives. Of course, surgeries and medical treatment are always associated with a risk and the industry and regulators are always concerned when there has been an adverse outcome for a patient. But there are processes in place to monitor and track adverse events and take appropriate action.

There therefore needs to be a measured consideration of the facts, which have, in this instance, been overlooked in the quest for sensationalism. Patients seeking treatment for debilitating conditions need to have the confidence in their medical professionals and the regulator to make informed decisions about their treatment.

Selective reporting undermines patient choice and informed consent.

Australian surgeons, medical device companies and hospitals are all committed to ensuring surgeries are performed safely and patients can return to their daily lives and loved ones as quickly as possible.

Australia has every right to be proud of the TGA and we should continue to strive for thorough and evidence-based processes that ensure the safety of patients and procedures but encourage innovation and evolution in life-saving medical devices.

Advances in medical technology over the past 20 years have resulted in a 56% reduction in hospital stays, 25% decline in disability rates, 16% decline in annual mortality and increased life expectancy of approximately 3.2 years.

MTAA and its member companies will continue to support a robust regulatory process that provides Australians access to safe, life changing medical devices.




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