John Spellar MP backs call for medical technology MP meets patients campaigning for better access to medical technology
John Spellar MP met a group of patients from across the country at the Houses of Parliament on November 5th to hear about how medical technology has helped improve their lives.
The patients were taking part in a Patient Action Day organised by the Medical Technology Group (MTG), a coalition of patient groups, research charities and medical device manufacturers who want people to have equal access to medical technologies no matter where they live in the UK.
Mr Spellar discussed how medical technology can not only improve patients’ condition but heighten their quality of life. Importantly, it can also save money in the NHS and have wider benefits in other Government departments because people can get back to work and care again for their loved ones.
He said, “It was fascinating to hear first-hand how medical technology, including insulin pumps, artificial hips and knees, and implantable cardioverter-defibrillators, can make a huge difference to a person’s day to day living, helping them regain control of their condition.
“In the long term devices such as these can reduce the treatment needed and therefore the burden on the NHS. Many patients also enjoy the benefits of returning to work and becoming economically active, which benefits society as a whole.”
The Patient Action Day was part of a series of events run by the Medical Technology Group to mark Medical Technology Awareness Week from the 3rd to the 7th November.
Barbara Harpham, chair of the MTG, said: “The aim of our awareness week is to put medical technology firmly on the NHS agenda. Many technologies have been recommended by NICE (the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) and can help patients live more full and active lives, while reducing the health care bill in the longer term.
“Take-up is not as good as it should be. Research we commissioned with the Work Foundation shows there’s still too much focus on short-term priorities, with healthcare commissioners resisting adopting new technologies because of the upfront costs. The long-term and wider societal benefits are not considered.
“This is happening across the UK. We’re calling on MPs, locally, to push for better uptake and press for policies to improve patients’ access to medical technology.”
MPs are being invited to sign up to a four-point pledge in support of greater access to medical technology which will be handed in to 10 Downing Street.