Our world has changed dramatically over the past 12 months, and the Healthcare industry is at the forefront of this transformation. Although the impact of COVID-19 hasn’t been as significant in Australia as in many other countries, it has nevertheless resulted in several notable challenges. The reduction in elective surgeries, for example, has slowed down the private sector considerably, affecting demand for talent in this area and limiting the health services being offered to the wider population.
Another major issue that is currently shaping the Healthcare market is the border restrictions, both between states and internationally. Australia has previously been reliant on international talent from countries such as the UK, Ireland and the Philippines to meet skill gaps, and consequently, there is a shortage of Registered Nurses, Doctors and other key medical professionals available to meet demand. At the same time, interstate travel restrictions have made it more difficult for remote regions of the country to secure the people necessary to maintain access to vital services, particularly when it comes Community Healthcare and Aboriginal health.
Yet despite these challenges, Healthcare has shown remarkable resilience, with many facilities adapting the way they provide care and embracing alternative solutions such as telehealth. The genuine dedication of Healthcare professionals has been widely evident during this time, many of whom have returned to their hometowns in remote areas to help meet the needs of their communities or put themselves at risk to provide home-based care to the more vulnerable members of the population. Although the talent shortages look set to continue over the next few months, we are seeing signs that a return to somewhat “normal” may be near on the horizon as we move into 2021.