The NSW Government is partnering with local universities and manufacturers to produce ventilators as part of its COVID-19 response, with two prototypes already underway.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said pre-production is expected to take around six weeks and if a shelf-ready model complies with the necessary regulatory requirements, full production can begin.
“We know with the easing of restrictions there could be a rise in COVID-19 infections and if a second wave hits, we want our hospitals to have all the equipment they need,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“Pleasingly, five groups came forward to produce ventilator prototypes after our callout to industry, with two of those now selected for pre-production.
“If those models are confirmed to align with Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) requirements full production can commence, if our hospitals require more ventilators.”
Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the NSW Government is doing all it can to combat global shortages of vital medical equipment to ensure NSW has the back-up it needs.
“Every country around the world is facing disrupted medical supply chains but we need ventilators – they can be the difference between life and death,” Mr Hazzard said.
“COVID-19 infects cells in the lungs causing oxygen levels to drop and a ventilator is a crucial piece of equipment that helps critically ill patients to breathe.
“To have local manufacturers who are able to supply much-needed equipment to support frontline health workers – in this case a consortium led by the University of Sydney and another by Newcastle-based AmpControl – is absolutely invaluable.”
The NSW Government invested an extra $800 million to support NSW Health during the COVID-19 crisis, with $10 million to encourage NSW businesses to urgently undertake pilot projects to produce ventilators and other critical medical equipment.
Minister for Jobs, Investment and Tourism Stuart Ayres said the universities and industry groups involved will produce 10 units of each ventilator for further testing.
“Should these models (CoVida and Anemoi) be successful in completing the pre-production phase, they could not only benefit patients here but overseas, saving lives as well as creating jobs,” Mr Ayres said.
“This ventilator program is a great example for others to follow. It shows how NSW manufacturers are adapting and upskilling to bolster the economy and employment.”