MTAA responds to sensationalist campaign


26 November 2018

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.




Media Contact

MTAA | 02 9900 0600 |


Did you know?

  1. The medical technology industry currently employs more than 17,700 people and adds $1.9 billion to the Australian economy.
  2. The industry is highly skilled with over 52% of employees having a tertiary qualification, and 25% having a postgraduate qualification.
  3. More than half of Australian medical device companies have grown from start-ups. 40% of all medical device businesses have been established since 2000.
  4. The medical technology and pharmaceutical industry combined is the 10th largest by export value at $5.2 billion.
  5. Medical technology (7.76%) is second only to Civil Engineering (8.5%) and pharmaceuticals in third (6.3%) when it comes to filing patents for innovative technology.

About MTAA

The Medical Technology Association of Australia (MTAA) is the national association representing companies in the medical technology industry. MTAA aims to ensure the benefits of modern, innovative and reliable medical technology are delivered effectively to provide better health outcomes to the Australian community.

MTAA represents manufacturers and suppliers of medical technology used in the diagnosis, prevention, treatment and management of disease and disability. The range of medical technology is diverse with products ranging from familiar items such as syringes and wound dressings, through to high-technology implanted devices such as pacemakers, defibrillators, hip and other Orthopaedic implants. Products also include hospital and diagnostic imaging equipment such as ultrasounds and magnetic resonance imaging machines.

MTAA members distribute the majority of the non-pharmaceutical products used in the diagnosis and treatment of disease and disability in Australia. Our member companies also play a vital role in providing healthcare professionals with essential education and training to ensure safe and effective use of medical technology.