“A life-saving medical device is only useful if it reaches the patient,” says Faye Sumner, CEO of the Medical Technology Association of New Zealand (MTANZ).
Her scope of work involves understanding the regulatory environment and reimbursement processes in NZ and globally in order to be able to try and break down some of the barriers to introduce new technology into our health system. She is passionate about healthcare and the role medical technologies can play in this area – this is a driving factor behind a lot of the work she does. “It’s an exciting time to be in medtech,” she says. “It’s an incredibly rewarding and stimulating sector be working in, and there is tremendous potential of using technology for better healthcare.”
Faye was recently appointed as the Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her 30 years of contribution to the medical industry development in New Zealand and internationally. It also acknowledges the relationships that Faye has developed with the industry’s major stakeholders across the health sector including the NZ government. Faye says that she is honoured by the appointment. “It is wonderful to see the medtech sector recognised as an industry,” she says.
Faye also actively supports the medtech community via her role as a board member of the NZ Heart Foundation, NZ Artificial Limb Services and MedTech CoRE.
Not one to rest on her laurels, Faye says that there is still a lot to be done for NZ’s medtech sector. Clinical trials are one of her current areas of interest – some of her aims include increasing connectedness among local stakeholders and bringing more international expertise to NZ shores to enhance capability and capacity in this area.
Times ahead will be challenging for the medtech sector in NZ with changes to regulations and procurement locally and internationally, says Faye, but she aspires to ensure that NZ continues to support a viable and growing medtech industry.