AVN 66.56 Increased By ▲ 1.43 (2.2%)
BAFL 29.75 Increased By ▲ 0.05 (0.17%)
BOP 4.08 Decreased By ▼ -0.37 (-8.31%)
CNERGY 3.71 Increased By ▲ 0.08 (2.2%)
DFML 12.37 Decreased By ▼ -0.17 (-1.36%)
DGKC 45.75 Increased By ▲ 0.35 (0.77%)
EPCL 46.90 Decreased By ▼ -0.10 (-0.21%)
FCCL 12.18 Decreased By ▼ -0.02 (-0.16%)
FFL 5.98 Decreased By ▼ -0.05 (-0.83%)
FLYNG 6.23 Increased By ▲ 0.05 (0.81%)
GGL 12.00 Increased By ▲ 0.20 (1.69%)
HUBC 68.49 Decreased By ▼ -0.17 (-0.25%)
HUMNL 5.82 Increased By ▲ 0.08 (1.39%)
KAPCO 25.20 Decreased By ▼ -0.05 (-0.2%)
KEL 2.11 No Change ▼ 0.00 (0%)
LOTCHEM 25.40 Decreased By ▼ -0.04 (-0.16%)
MLCF 25.87 Increased By ▲ 0.27 (1.05%)
NETSOL 77.90 Increased By ▲ 0.69 (0.89%)
OGDC 88.69 Increased By ▲ 1.68 (1.93%)
PAEL 11.67 Increased By ▲ 0.46 (4.1%)
PIBTL 4.19 Increased By ▲ 0.01 (0.24%)
PPL 68.77 Increased By ▲ 2.25 (3.38%)
PRL 13.43 Increased By ▲ 0.32 (2.44%)
SILK 0.88 Increased By ▲ 0.02 (2.33%)
SNGP 42.15 Increased By ▲ 0.89 (2.16%)
TELE 8.10 Increased By ▲ 0.03 (0.37%)
TPLP 15.34 Increased By ▲ 0.09 (0.59%)
TRG 113.05 Increased By ▲ 1.73 (1.55%)
UNITY 14.24 Increased By ▲ 0.12 (0.85%)
WTL 1.24 Increased By ▲ 0.02 (1.64%)
BR100 4,154 Increased By 50.6 (1.23%)
BR30 14,979 Increased By 138.8 (0.93%)
KSE100 40,938 Increased By 19.8 (0.05%)
KSE30 15,113 Increased By 69.6 (0.46%)
Business & Finance

Country on brink of X-ray, CT, MRI films' shortage: Fujifilm Pakistan CEO

  • Industry unable to import essential supplies due to delays in issuance of letters of credit
Published January 5, 2023
Follow us

KARACHI: Fujifilm Pakistan CEO Syed Haider Ali Naqvi said on Thursday that the segment, where his company specialises, has been unable to open Letters of Credit (LCs) as per its usual banking cycle and this development might trigger a severe shortage of X-ray, CT and MRI films for the first time in the country's history.

According to company officials who held a press briefing in Karachi, the standard practice is putting an import order every 15 days because the products have expiry dates in addition to storage protocols such as controlled temperature facility.

“The hospitals and diagnostic laboratories are on the brink of running out of stocks,” Naqvi said while speaking to Business Recorder after the press briefing.

“If LCs are not opened immediately, we will see a shortage of these critical films in many public and private hospitals and laboratories in the country within a month.”

Rs26bn allocated for healthcare projects

The development comes as dozens of companies operating in different sectors have announced either a shutdown or reduction in operations in Pakistan owing to reduced demand, inventory shortage, energy crunch and supply chain disruptions.

The current economic situation in Pakistan, marred by rapidly-depleting foreign exchange reserves, has also forced commercial banks to be selective in opening LCs even for sectors such as healthcare.

Officials from the segment say they foresee an imminent humanitarian and healthcare crisis in Pakistan unless prompt actions are taken by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Ministry of Finance and other institutions to avert a disaster.

“Irregular supply will result in shortages and potential price gouging which will have a direct impact on the citizens of Pakistan,” Naqvi said.

Fujifilm Pakistan MD Syed Jameel Hussain said X-rays are one of the first lines of defence used in the diagnosis of various life threatening diseases including tuberculosis, cancer, Covid-19, bone fractures, and pneumonia. In addition, CT Scans and MRIs are also printed on X-ray films.

In Pakistan, Fujifilm is a major supplier of medical X-ray films, with nearly 50% market share, and various diagnostic medical equipment such as X-ray printers, X-ray machines, imaging plates, mammography and ultrasound machines. Back in the day, Fujifilm supplied imaging products for photography, cinema and print media.

Naqvi said 60% of X-ray films are used for chest X-rays and reduction in their availability may even delay the diagnosis of Covid-19 patients amid other severe consequences.

The import of medical X-ray films costs $20 million annually or $1.6 million a month. The officials say cost of imports is far less than the damage its shortage could do to the well-being of citizens.

Naqvi feared that if the industry failed to open LCs, then medical and healthcare sector may arrange the X-ray films from smuggled material, which would be costly and quality of films could be compromised “because smugglers will not follow proper supply chain protocols”.

He said that at present, 90% to 95% X-ray films are imported through legal channels.

Sheikh Danish Javed, Executive Director Mediquips, the official distributor of Konica films, said that if LCs were not opened, it will disrupt the supply chain of X-ray films.

He said in post-Covid scenario, the global X-ray film industry was completely booked with orders and customers had to book a supply slot.

“If we failed to order in that particular slot, then we have to wait for other slots,” he said. “If we fail to book an order in January, we won’t be able to get our consignment in March.”

Also read:


Comments are closed.

Country on brink of X-ray, CT, MRI films' shortage: Fujifilm Pakistan CEO

Pakistan careening towards potential default if IMF aid does not arrive: Bloomberg

Intra-day update: rupee records improvement against US dollar

Govt did not consult ahead of announcing fuel subsidy proposal: IMF

Auto sector woes: Hinopak suspends assembly plant operation

Petrol subsidy to bikers: two options under study

No subsidized gas for fertilizer plants after May

IMF bailout not a silver bullet for Sri Lanka, says Moody’s Analytics

PM for solving problems Dawlance facing in Pakistan

$7.407bn borrowed from multiple financing sources in 8 months

Jul-Feb FDI down 40pc YoY