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Future of the Australian Medical Industry

2019 Industry Report
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An ageing population and development in technology are just a few of the factors impacting the Australian medical industry. Understanding these factors and how other businesses in the industry are tracking is incredibly important, as it allows you to identify your business performance and plan for the future.

Bankwest released its Future of Business: Focus on Industry Series Reports for 2019 on Thursday, 11th April. We had a look at the Focus on Medical Services report which covers Australia’s general and specialist medical services sector, with information based off statistics from IBIS World, The Australian Bureau of Statistics and other reputable sources. Here are the keys takeaways from the report with a focus on the specialist medical industry:

  • Specialists medical services attendance rose by 2.0% in the year to June 2018, with average patient contributions increasing by 6.3%, fuelling revenue growth.
  • This increase in revenue can be linked to the proportion of people aged 65 and over, which has increased by 24.8% since 2001.
  • WA experienced the strongest rise in the use of Medicare services of 7.2% in the year to June 2018, compared to the national average of 5.1%.
  • As Australia’s population ages, higher demand will be placed on medical services, in particular specialist services. At current estimates, the population aged 75 and above will increase by 93.1% over the next 20 years.
  • The Medicare rebate freeze is to be lifted in 2019 and will allow for indexation of the Medicare rebate for specialist services. This means medical service providers will be able to adjust their prices and will no longer need to absorb rising input costs.
  • After hour care is used by 25 – 34 year old’s more than twice as often than 65 – 74 year old’s. This is likely due to higher opportunity cost associated with missing work, and indicates a demand for more flexible hours and medical services to accommodate the needs of young Australians.
  • Developments in technology and data management will continue to lay foundations for significant growth in general and specialist medical services. As technology advances, cheaper and more sophisticated medical equipment will be made available.
  • In order to provide greater value to customers, businesses will need to keep up-to-date with the latest monitoring and sensory equipment.
  • Third party services have allowed medical service providers to boost procurement and improve convenience across the sector. Businesses can employ such services and increase the value provided to patients through:
    • Email direct marketing and text messages notifying patients of programs and initiatives. E.g. free immunisations;
    • Automated reminders for follow up or regular visits; and
    • Automated text messages with service updates e.g. rising wait times.
  • Specialist medical services will expand as the population ages and chronic disease becomes more prevalent. Growth in services treating cognitive decline is expected to be particularly strong. Recent estimates show mental and behavioural conditions are the fastest growing chronic illnesses in Australia, rising by 20.5% in the 3 years to June 2018.
  • Medical services revenue is expected to grow by 24.7% over the next five years.

The outlook for the Australian medical industry is promising as numerous growth opportunity arise. To remain competitive in the market, medical practices should ensure they are investing in value adding and data driven solutions to meet customer expectations.

If this article has sparked any questions or you would like to see the full report contact our offices here.

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Source: Bankwest Future of Business: Focus on Industry Series. The information contained in this report is of a general nature and is not intended to be nor should be considered as professional advice. You should not act on the basis of anything contained in this report without first obtaining specific professional advice. To the extent permitted by law, Bankwest, a division of Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 AFSL/Australian credit licence 234945, its related bodies corporate, employees and contractors accepts no liability or responsibility to any persons for any loss which may be incurred or suffered as a result of acting on or refraining from acting as a result of anything contained in this report.