Royal Philips is increasing ventilator production fourfold to address the global Coronavirus outbreak, and is calling for a lifting of tarrifs and export controls.
It says the most needed products are patient vital signs monitors and portable ventilators and medical consumables for ventilators. The company is ramping up the production of hospital ventilators and plans to double production within the next eight weeks and achieve a four-fold increase by the third quarter of 2020. It is mobilizing its global supplier network to step up support and production at final assembly sites in North America, Europe and Asia,as well as talking to contract manufacturers.
However the global network of certified materials and component suppliers is key to this increased production. In line with the recent call to action by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and World Health Organization (WHO), Philips is calling on governments to allow enhanced access to critical materials and components by not imposing restrictions such as export controls and tariffs, and to provide help to accelerate logistics, as well as exemptions for critical suppliers from lockdown measures.
It is also challenging the national priorities of some goverments, saying it believes that critical medical equipment, such as hospital ventilators and patient monitors, should be made available across the world, prioritizing those communities and countries that need it the most, using a fair and ethical approach to allocate supply. THis should be based on data such as the COVID-19 risk-classification of a country or region, says the company.
“In line with Philips’ mission to improve people’s lives, we want to help as many healthcare providers as possible to deal with the growing numbers of critical COVID-19 patients,” said Frans van Houten, CEO of Royal Philips. “There is an unprecedented global demand for medical equipment to help diagnose and treat patients with COVID-19. We are working around the clock to double our hospital ventilator production within the next eight