COCIR ‘Green Paper’ Proposes International Standards
for Refurbishment of Medical Equipment
22 November, 2007
Throw a used X-ray machine in the trash and you deny thousands of people the opportunity for help and advanced diagnostics.
Used medical equipment is extremely valuable and often can continue to perform medical miracles long after the original hospital replaces the unit with a newer generation. The worldwide market for used imaging equipment is currently estimated at €1.3 billion annually.
Yet an X-ray machine is not like a simple computer and when not correctly reconditioned it can pose as much risk as benefit to patients. In recent years, some regional healthcare markets have been flooded with used medical equipment of questionable and inconsistent quality.
This week COCIR released a Green Paper on Good Refurbishment Practice for Medical Electrical Equipment which proposes to set requirements for quality, safety and effectiveness as the first step in building a sustainable economy for the refurbished equipment used in advanced diagnostic and treatment technologies.
“Healthcare providers, patients and governments need a consistent and harmonized set of requirements for refurbishment of used medical equipment that is as rigorous and as trusted as the regulations that assure the safety of new equipment in order to build trust,” said Heinrich von Wulfen, COCIR Chairman. “There is a cascade of sustained value, both social and economic, which can be released worldwide with the use of refurbished medical equipment, but safety and quality must come first,” he added.
Potential users of refurbished systems can be found in hospitals of all sizes around the world, mainly in the <st1:country-region w:st="on">USA</st1:country-region> and in <st1:place w:st="on">Europe</st1:place>, from small hospitals to major medical institutes and university hospitals
“Our hope is that these new requirements will be incorporated into international standards for refurbished medical equipment so that the healthcare industry can bring the benefits of the equipment to more people” said Nicole Denjoy, COCIR Secretary General.
Nicole Denjoy Kathryn Sheridan
Secretary General Communications Advisor
Tel: +32 (0)2 706 8961 Tel: +32 (0)496 116198
COCIR is the voice of the European Radiological, Electromedical and Healthcare IT Industry working to develop the future of healthcare in <st1:place w:st="on">Europe</st1:place> and beyond. Founded in 1959, COCIR is a non-profit trade association based in <st1:city w:st="on">Brussels</st1:city> representing the medical technology industry in <st1:place w:st="on">Europe</st1:place> and acts as a channel for communication between its members and the European institutions and other global regulatory bodies. COCIR’s members, global companies and SMEs as well as national trade associations, play a driving role in developing the future of healthcare in <st1:place w:st="on">Europe</st1:place> and worldwide. In April, 2007, COCIR opened an office in <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:country-region w:st="on">China</st1:country-region></st1:place> to support the development or a transparent and predictable regulatory framework for medical devices in that country.