Increase in demand for talent in health-tech post second wave

Munira Loliwala, AVP (diversified engineering), TeamLease Digital highlights the workforce scenario in healthcare sector post second COVID wave

COVID-19 resulted in a paradigm shift in the global healthcare industry. As the pandemic spread, medical experts put their lives on the line to treat and save patients, often battling infrastructure issues.

Overall a 10% – 15% increase in the hiring of doctors & nurses was seen in the year 2020 as compared to 2019, whereas this year the number will rise to almost 20 – 22% demand for doctors & nurses, virtual & homecare facilities across specialty & super specialty segments (Oncology, Cardiology & Immunology) are the new venture for many healthcare facilities and hospitals as their new offerings.

The largest growth has been in the patient care segment. Now patient care can be driven in two ways – through hospitals, clinics, and through virtual modes. There has been an increase in demand for nurses and paramedics to deliver care to patients in hospitals. However, there has also been an equal rise in demand for online healthcare amid the pandemic. An almost equal amount of people are also being treated at home, increasing the demand for telemedicine and remote monitoring services.

In 2020 demand for paramedics staff increased by 8% -10% as compared to 2019, while the growth will reach 18% by the end of this year. Hiring in the field of diagnostics, patient administrators and medical technicians top the list.

COVID triggered demand for telemedicine & e-health, allowing healthcare professionals to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients in remote locations using telecommunication technology. Skilled-based jobs as health tech professionals that will develop the working and operations of the telemedicine network are on the rise.

Two primary segments namely telecommunication & IOT would see huge hiring needs for consultations and professional medical practitioners.

The rise in telemedicine will directly increase product launches and strategic alliances which will indirectly give a boost for the private players to expand domestically and globally.

24/7 facility through healthtech will require resources to work in double shifts thus enabling employment opportunities.

Since 2010 Market has seen a gradient Increase and was expected to grow at a 12 -15% year on year, segments that will accelerate includes tele-consultation, tele-radiology, tele-pathology and e-pharmacy. Start-ups in India hold major responsibility to create jobs within health tech. Currently, innovation and technology development is limited to top health companies. This needs to be democratised through better research facilities and creating a healthcare innovation fund by government to encourage startups to build technology platforms that contribute in terms of meaningful utility in delivering healthcare.

The temporary workforce saw demand during the pandemic increase by almost 30% – 33% with the constant need for more staff both physically and virtually.

Healthcare companies are providing the facility of consultations, live classes, online tests, and predictive analytics using AI to patients across regions and sectors. Global telemedicine market is expected to grow at a rate of 38% while India is expected to grow at a rate of 30% by 2025.

Digital India Mission will enable wider technology adoption by Masses, penetration of smartphones, mobile apps, and cheap data plans will be the key drivers to improve the growth.

India’s healthcare sector is the prime focus for scale and expansion by the government thus leading to policy changes and scheme implementation programs and enhanced workforce. This segment will bring the paradigm shift within the healthcare Industry, Workforce demand is expected to see a 15% rise.

Job opportunities in clinical healthcare, patient services, and information technology will be required.  Skilled-based careers – health IT professionals that will develop the working and operations of the telemedicine network. Administrative operators, equipment managers will be needed in each unit as the spread of technology increases.

Staff patient liaisons with multiple linguistic abilities will be in huge demand and this creates more room for skill gaps in demand vs supply of the right talent in the long run. We shall see more need of workers with Tech & digital skills as one of the important qualifying criteria.

The healthcare sector will also witness an above-average percentage rise in salary at an average increase of 8 percent, followed by FMCG with 7.6 percent and E-commerce/Internet Services at 7.5 percent.

India’s healthcare segment is expected to reach 37,200 crore in FY 21 – 22, with a potential to generate approx. 1 lac plus jobs quarter on quarter. The hospital segment, expansion of private players in tier II & III locations, beyond metros is an attractive investment opportunity. The pandemic is providing an impetus to the expansion of telemedicine and home healthcare which has the potential to create 50K skilled patient attendants and caregivers (blue collars) and 12.5K jobs for women quarterly, in nursing as well as attendant/caregiver roles. Government plans Rs.50, 000 crore programme to boost health infrastructure – to expand hospital capacity or medical supplies.

healthcare workforcePost COVID-19
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