Electronic wheelchairs, are wheelchairs propelled electronically via a controller via a “Joystick” programmer or “Remote” powered by a Gel, Dry Cell or Lithium battery.
Till 2019, Pakistani medical equipment suppliers had a very limited variety of electronic wheelchairs for customers to choose from. These wheelchairs were bulky, expensive and some of them couldn’t even fit in the trunk of a hatchback or sedan! New Pak Surgical addressed this issue and today, it holds Pakistans largest variety of Electronic Wheelchairs. In this article, we will explore the types and prices of wheelchairs available.
Currently, in 2022 Pakistan has 3 options to choose from.
- Brand New China Imported Electronic Wheelchairs.
The vast majority of Brand New Wheelchairs are imported from China. This means that these electronic wheelchairs are manufactured/assembled in Chinese factories and then shipped to Pakistan. The base variants are simple and include a 24V, 12Ah removable dry cell battery, a 250W motor attached to each wheel, a reprogrammable wired controller, rear wheels ranging from 12″-24″ and front wheels ranging from 8″ – 16″. Variables specifications include removable leg rests, flip up armrests for transferring comfortably in and out of the wheelchair, lithium batteries, aluminium frame and so on. The economical variety of China Imported Electronic Wheelchairs ranges start at $390 onwards.
2. Pakistan Assembled Electronic Wheelchairs.
Pakistan has made considerable progress in assembling Electronic Wheelchairs. However, it is important to note an interesting fact in the world of Electronic Wheelchairs in Pakistan. Wheelchairs (Whether mechanically or electronically propelled) are exempted from General Sales Tax (GST), however its spare parts are not exempted. That is why importing a spare accessory of an electronic wheelchair is not proportionate to the cost of the wheelchair itself. “Made in Pakistan Electronic Wheelchairs” refer to the assembled in Pakistan Electronic wheelchairs, as often, the Joystick and Motors imported from China are (as of October 2022) more reliable and cost affective, so the Electronic wheelchairs that claim to be “Made in Pakistan” are really just materials made in Pakistan, attached to imported electronics. The frame is usually powder coated steel, variable motors ranging from 250w of Chinese Origin or 350w Taiwan Origin depending on the availability. Customisation can be a plus point for some. These electric wheelchairs start at $330
3. Imported Used Wheelchairs from Japan, Europe and The USA.
A quick internet search will tell you, The New Permobil Corpus F5 is a $40,000 wheelchair. That’s right, a forty thousand dollar wheelchair. One could get a 2017 Toyota Fortuner with wheelchair accessible drive control panels with that much money. Some countries have strict policies when it comes to product life cycles, and often countries like the UK will sell their used medical equipment to other countries. Such practices are very common and can be viewed at the British medical auction (BMA) website. At New Pak Surgical, we buy used wheelchairs of European, Japanese and US origin as those wheelchairs often have a superior build quality and many functions like seat height adjustment, sit to stand, forward and backwards tilt and so on. The brands include world renowned names like Permobil, Quickie and Invacare. However, these companies operate in communities that are more accessible, so often the higher spec’d electric wheelchair won’t fit in the back of your corolla. This is because countries that focus on better assistive equipment, often have better assistive systems.
At New Pak Surgical, refurbished Electronic wheelchair will have it’s original Gel batteries switched to dry cell (because of the lack of Gel Batteries available in Pakistan), renewed seat cushions, its power cables will be changed from 110v to 220v and the Electronic Wheelchair will be serviced generally.
Economical Used Electronic Wheelchairs with basic functions will start at the $300 range. Higher spec’d wheelchairs like standing wheelchairs or height adjustable wheelchairs will start at $950.
Which Electronic Wheelchair should I buy?
The type of electronic wheelchair you purchase should be based on the users condition, required functions, weight and comfort. China Imported wheelchairs are generally compact and can fit in most sedans and hatchbacks including The Suzuki Wagon R and Toyota Corolla (Tried and Tested with most variants) Pakistan Assembled wheelchairs facilitate ground up customisations but lack the finishing and general quality of it’s Chinese counterparts and Refurbished wheelchairs are often not facilitated by Pakistan’s current lack of wheelchair accessibility.
But to give you a perspective on the availability and prices, we’re focusing this article on the Best Affordable Wheelchairs in Pakistan. This features the most sold units in Pakistan atl the time this article has been published.