Nasogastric tubes for medical care are now on Taiwan's list of banned products from China. With the ban in place, many are worried about the supply of tubes for long-term care facilities and hospitals.
Nasogastric tubes are used for feeding patients when they cannot ingest by mouth and are not meeting recommended daily intake. The Ministry of Economic Affairs' most recent announcement during the evening of the 17th says they will be prohibiting the import of nasogastric tubes made in China, and it is to take effect immediately.
Wang Mei-hua, Minister, Ministry of Economic Affairs: “The Taiwan Medical and Biotech Industry association reported to us about China engaging in a price war, about the unfairness of low-price competition. We have talked with those affected. The guild association held a conference to explain the matter and decisions were based on objective situations. ”
Economic Affairs Minister Wang Mei-hua explained how the ministry has decided to ban China-made nasogastric tubes since the medical equipment association reported to them how China's predatory pricing has affected business for Taiwan companies. Locally made nasogastric tubes cost NT$120 each on average, but China-made tubes are NT$20 to NT$30 cheaper. With the ban in place, many are worried about the supply of tubes for long-term care facilities and hospitals.
Hung Tzu-jen, Dep. Superintendent, Shinkong Wu Ho Su Memorial Hospital: “The ban should have no effect on medical institutions basically, because we use local ones right now anyway. Taiwan produces a good amount of nice quality silicone nasogastric tubes. I don't think there would be any problem in particular. ”
Wang Wen-ching, Medical equipment supplier: “These tubes are disposable products. I don't see it being too much of an impact. Some customers have even complained about the odor of the nasogastric tubes from China.”
Would locally-made nasogastric tubes become more expensive now that China-made ones are out of the picture? On another note, Huang Fei Hong Spicy Peanuts from China have also gotten banned recently. China's Konjac Shuang snacks are also banned, but they can be imported conditionally or only for personal consumption. It is illegal to sell prohibited snacks and individuals will be fined up to NT$3 million.