Surgical instruments in Pakistan

By Vilhelm Stokstad – The Swedish county councils procure surgical instruments, manufactured in the city Sialkot, Pakistan. These instruments are used on a daily basis in hospitals and clinics all around Sweden. But the working conditions on the factory floors are often bad, with poor lighting, health and safety issues and lack of awareness as to labor legislation, unions and workers rights. Although a recent study by Swedwatch shows that the factories working with Sweden have shown great improvements since their last report in 2007, the industry in Pakistan is still a high risk industry. Over a thousand companies are engaged in the surgical instruments industry in Pakistan, an industry that produces 150 million pieces per year. Almost 95% of the products are exported globally.