Industry in Focus: Healthcare in Australia


An industry under pressure

Since the start of 2020 when COVID-19 changed the world, the healthcare industry, including public and private hospitals, medical centres, and related providers that deliver health products and services, has been under incredible stress. The ebb and flow of the pandemic, coupled with an aging population and a fatigued workforce have left healthcare employers scrambling to fill shifts and retain employees.

Four of the top 10 in-demand professions over the next five years are directly relate to the caring economy, including dentists, paediatricians, a range of surgeons, specialised nurses, and intensive care and emergency medicine specialists. By 2030, an undersupply of 123,000 nurses is expected – to cite just one example of a profession still reeling from the after-effects of COVID-19.

From challenges to opportunities

The reduced supply of workers and increased demand has increased pressure on state and federal governments to develop policies to relieve the many challenges that come with this skills shortage. Some are calling for a workforce roadmap that will cover domestic training, upskilling, and migration, just as starting points – but any policy-driven intervention will take time.

In the meantime, healthcare providers are developing their own strategies to improve the employee experience for workers, to become a magnet that both attracts and retains talent – and keeps them happy, healthy and engaged. That means working with educational institutions to connect with fresh graduates, upskilling existing employees, introducing more flexible work rosters, and taking steps to ease the risk of employee burnout.

The role of technology

There are no quick fixes for many of the challenges facing healthcare employers. However, employers are successfully using technology to create equitable and flexible work schedules, benchmark wages, hours and benefits, offer continuous learning and other benefits, and provide support for those who need to work irregular hours. All of this contributes to a more appealing employee experience and a stronger employee value proposition.

For further insights and tips on how to navigate through this challenging time, complete the form to download our fact sheet.