Are you equipped to work within one of Australia’s fastest growing industries?
There’s no better time to develop your skills as a health professional.
Over the past decade, the Australian health and medical industry has grown in size and status. It's an industry renowned for its world-class technology, innovation, research and development. And it continues to advance at a rapid rate.
The Australian Jobs 2019 report from The Department of Jobs and Small Business predicts the healthcare industry will grow a further 16.1 per cent over the next five years. With infrastructure projects and technological advancements revolutionising patient care, delivery and experience, as well as a rise in regional and aged healthcare, the sector is showing no signs of slowing down.
So what does that mean for you?
The rise of regional healthcare
Over the past seven years, the number of jobs in rural areas has increased from 25 to 32 per cent.
Not only does this offer health professionals access to more jobs, but there are more opportunities to provide care to people who are likely to need it most. Research shows that Australians living in regional centres and remote areas have considerably poorer health in comparison to their metropolitan counterparts. The National Health Performance Authority have calculated that life expectancies for those born in 2011 will vary between 82-83.6 years in urban areas, 81.4-81.6 years in regional hubs, and 78.3-80.6 years in rural regions. There are also approximately 171 avoidable deaths per 100,000 people per year in regional hubs and 244 in rural areas, compared to 115 in urban areas.
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, there were 3.8 million people aged 65 years and over in 2017 – an increase from 1.3 million in 1977 – and it’s predicted the number will grow to 8.8 million by 2057. With Australia’s ageing population growing, upskilling current employees, reworking out-of-date models and investing in new facility infrastructure is key. Survey respondents believe innovative solutions such as government policy reforms, digital technologies, wearable devices and smart modular housing will provide more opportunities to modernise aged care.
The government’s Job Outlook website predicts exponential growth in the amount of jobs in the aged and disability sector, from 175,800 in 2018 to 245,000 in 2023. In order to keep up, the aged care sector must triple its workforce by 2050.
Improved patient experience
As information becomes more easily accessible and patients become better informed about their health, we can expect more convenient, affordable and personalised services. The flexibility that modern technology brings to patient care is unprecedented.
According to respondents to a survey conducted by Australian Healthcare Week, 81 per cent of organisations are currently investing in customer-centric systems and processes to further optimise patient experience, while 23 per cent are implementing new patient entertainment and way-finding technologies. A further 21 per cent are investing in extra training for employees in a bid to improve patient experience.
Advancements in technology
Cutting-edge innovations such as robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality and wearable devices are already providing improved care opportunities for health professionals.
Similarly, big data is transforming the healthcare sector, helping practitioners deliver positive patient outcomes. Data captured through our smartphones, subscriptions and social networks can allow specialists to use applied analytics to develop future-focused workplace solutions, leading to more personalised medicine and improved quality of healthcare.
Adapting to the changing landscape
As the population changes and technology develops, the most urgent need in the healthcare industry is the one for researchers, leaders and educators. Education in healthcare isn't just about training - it's about adapting to the changing landscape, seeing the big picture and shaping the future of the industry.