Surgical instruments may not be fair trade

The NHS may be buying medical equipment unethically and exploiting developing countries, it has been claimed in an article published on bmj.com today.

Unlike the campaigns for fair trade of goods like bananas and coffee, there have been no such campaigns for medical commodities, says Dr Mahmood Bhutta, a specialist registrar in otolaryngology (head and neck surgery) at Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital in London.

Dr Bhutta says that while NHS suppliers are encouraged to act in an ethical business manner, they do not and there are currently no checks or assessments made into the origins of surgical instruments used by the NHS.

"The trade in surgical instruments is open to unethical sourcing because many such instruments are manufactured in the developing world," writes Dr Bhutta.

The global trade in hand held stainless steel surgical instruments is worth around 352million ($650m, 507m) a year and many of these instruments are made by firms in towns in Europe and Asia. The two largest producers are Tuttlingen in Germany and Sialkot in Pakistan.

Companies in Sialkot use more traditional production methods with most instruments manufactured and finished by hand, so production is more labour intensive, employing 50,000 people (7,700 of whom are children aged from 7 and older) to supply a fifth of the world's surgical instruments.

Many firms in Sialkot sub-contact the initial production of these instruments to workers in small workshops or their own homes in an attempt to reduce overheads and minimise costs. These workers earn around 1 a day ($2, 1.50).

The firms sell to suppliers and retailers in the developed world who then sell on to companies in Germany which sell to the NHS and elsewhere in the world at a marked up price, says Dr Bhutta.

"The solution lies in purchasers insisting on fair and ethical trade when sourcing instruments," he adds.


Contact: Emma Dickinson
BMJ-British Medical Journal

Page: 1

Related medicine news :

1. Ronald W. Busuttil receives American Surgical Associations highest honor
2. Surgical plugs in ears bone stops strange form of severe dizziness
3. Surgical critical care team at HUP earns Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence
4. Call for data on reuse of surgical instruments to allay fears over vCJD transmission
5. ASTRO annual meeting again named a fastest growing tradeshow
6. Patent laws and US trade agreements are hindering access to HIV treatment
7. EUs free trade rules exacerbate alcohol-related harm
8. WHO must prepare health ministries for trade liberalisation
9. Book Asbestos and Fire explores risk trade-offs
10. Counting the human cost of international trade

Post Your Comments:

(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due ... up a new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live away ... a common occurrence, but a necessary one in the event that lice have simply gotten ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... non-athletes recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a method ... —Johnson is one of the first doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics are ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those who have ... these feelings, many turn to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, as ... Michigan, has released tools for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, P.A. ... The attorneys chosen by their peers for this recognition are considered among the top ... Shareholders received special honors as members of this year’s Legal Elite Hall of Fame: ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... People across the U.S. are sharpening their pencils and honing their writing ... which patients and their families pay tribute to a genetic counselor by nominating him ... Genetic Counselors (NSGC) Annual Education Conference (AEC) this September. , In April, Genome ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2016)... 27, 2016 Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc (Nasdaq: ... the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended ... Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ("Celator"; Nasdaq: CPXX ) expired ... Time). As previously announced on May 31, ... merger agreement under which Jazz Pharmaceuticals has commenced a ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016  Global Blood Therapeutics, Inc. (GBT) (NASDAQ: ... novel therapeutics for the treatment of grievous blood-based ... closing of its previously announced underwritten public offering ... public offering price of $18.75 per share. All ... by GBT. GBT estimates net proceeds from the ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... BEIJING , June 24, 2016 Dehaier ... or the "Company"), which develops, markets and sells medical ... China , signed a strategic cooperation agreement with ... as "Hongyuan Supply Chain") on June 20, 2016, to ... Under the strategic cooperation agreement, Dehaier will leverage Hongyuan ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
Cached News: