SAMED is playing a central role in coordinating the Medical Technology industry’s response to the new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 which causes the illness COVID-19. The virus has created a record public health – and socio-economic – emergency in South Africa and the rest of the world.

Export bans of essential medical supplies are being instituted by South Africa, the EU and other regions that supply South Africa. SAMED believes that our industry, in partnership with the Health Department, SAHPRA and other arms of government must act swiftly to secure the ability of our health system to handle the pandemic.

Hence, SAMED is continually working with our members and engaging with external entities including the Treasury, the NHLS, SAHPRA, Business for South Africa and other stakeholders to ensure that there is reliable local supply and access to quality, reliable personal protective equipment (PPE) and other essential products for the public and private healthcare sectors.

To facilitate this work, SAMED has formed a special working group with a mandate to build capacity and understanding on all matters related to MedTech and COVID-19, act as a rapid-response-team in relation to the outbreak, and navigate our industry’s position on how to sustain the provision of medical supplies that comply with regulations, are safe and perform as needed. We urge all stakeholders who procure MedTech (especially considering the lives at stake during this pandemic) to ensure that they only procure from SAHPRA licenced MedTech companies.

SAMED has identified the following products as our focus, but other Medical Technology may also come to the fore:

  • Diagnostic tests to detect COVID-19
  • Equipment that is supportive for respiratory distress (ventilators, CPAP)
  • Equipment used in ICU (patient monitors, medical gases)
  • Personal Protective Equipment (surgical masks, gloves, face-shields, scrub suits, boots, overshoes)
  • Clinical grade disinfectants and hand sanitisers.

SAMED will continue to prepare and disseminate dedicated updates on COVID-19 – please feel free to share it with customers and colleagues. The SAMED website library is now a dedicate resource for regulations, notices and news related to COVID-19.

We appeal to members – and other MedTech suppliers – to continue to demonstrate leadership and solidarity, and heed all efforts and regulations including those aimed at curbing price-hikes and profiteering at this exceptional moment.