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Employment opportunities in the future

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With rapid growth and advances in medical technology in this decade, the healthcare sector will see greater demand for various specialised skills, says Sunaina Singh, Program Manager, Transformational Health (Healthcare) Practice, Frost & Sullivan

Rising GDP per capita is generating higher spend on consumer goods and services, which will be a big driver of labour demand. Indian healthcare sector is much diversified and is full of opportunities in every segment which includes providers, payers and medical technology. The medical treatment in India is a fraction of the cost in developed countries and has advantages over other developing countries in becoming a global hub for medical tourism.

Over 40 million new jobs are expected to be generated by 2020, as per a report titled “India’s New Opportunities-2020” by the All India Management Association, BCG and the CII. Healthcare is going to be a major sector that stimulates economic growth and contributes to employment.

Moreover, India has become one of the leading destinations for high-end diagnostic services and Indian medical service consumers have become more conscious towards their healthcare upkeep, creating more opportunities.  The country’s pharmaceutical market is estimated to grow at a CAGR around 12 per cent over the next three years. By 2020, India could be among the top three pharma markets by incremental growth and the sixth largest globally in absolute size. Large Indian MNCs are all set to enter into foreign joint ventures and bring in investments to grow their businesses, and in the near future companies will thrive on focussed therapy areas like cardio-diabetic and oncology. While we may lag in molecule development and drug patents, increasing disposable income has led to a strong domestic market potential in India. This will result in significant employment generation across various functions, such as sales, marketing, HR, IT and operations, within the industry.

With supportive government policies, 100,000 jobs are expected to be created from Ayushman Bharat, the National Health Protection Scheme. India is experiencing 22-25 per cent growth within medical tourism and the industry is expected to double its size from $3 billion (in April 2017) to $6 billion by 2019, this will further bring in jobs in the healthcare service sector.

Jobs in 2010 vs jobs in 2020

Increased incidences such as heart disease, obesity and diabetes and growing health awareness and precautionary treatments coupled with improved diagnostics are resulting in an increase in hospitalisation, hence there has been growth in hospital jobs. Geriatric care, counselling, wellness and homecare are new arenas within the industry.  Additionally, the advent of technology in the realm of care like telemedicine, artificial intelligence and robotics have opened new vistas in healthcare and brought a new platter of specialised jobs. Increased success rate of Indian companies in getting Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) approvals and vast opportunities in R&D as well as medical tourism have opened up new landscapes as well.

In future, the government’s push to improve affordable healthcare, establish new institutes and medical education will definitely play a pivotal role in the growth of the industry. The economic environment is upbeat and conducive for business as well as employment in this sector.

The private sector emerging as a reckoning force in India’s healthcare industry accounts for almost 74 per cent of the country’s total healthcare expenditure. Furthermore, presence of world-class hospitals and skilled medical professionals has strengthened India’s position as a preferred destination for medical tourism. Healthcare extending outside the hospitals to homes for basic medical needs is also growing rapidly and will witness further growth.

Precision medicine is a paradigm shift from broad therapies to targeted therapies and will transform clinical practice and treatment outcomes. Telemedicine is already a fast-emerging trend in India; with major hospitals like Apollo, AIIMS, and Narayana Hrudayalaya having adopted telemedicine services and entering into a number of public-private partnerships (PPP).

Areas for a greater demand

Pharma would see demand for regulatory professionals, especially for professionals with Europe and the US market experience. There will be several openings in the pharma sector across manufacturing, quality and regulatory roles. Pharma companies are already having requirements like medico marketing, quality (training, internal audit, data integrity, etc.), engineering, business technology, manufacturing (production, operations and tech services and project) etc.

Diagnostics and healthcare would see increased demand for a range of occupations, including collection and homecare professionals, nurses, home health aides, personal care aides and health technicians. While the pharma sector will see huge demand for sales and product specialist roles, the need for high-skilled R&D and innovation professionals would still be a challenge for the Indian market.

We believe a plethora of new jobs and specialisations will emerge in India

  • Reconstructive surgery,
  • 3D Printing specialists,
  • Robotic clinical documentation scribes,
  • Companion robot technicians
  • Precision medicine compounding pharmacists,
  • Epigenetic counsellors,
  • Lifestyle strategists,
  • Deep learning experts,
  • Health data scientists,
  • IoT business analysts, and more.

Training and skill development

A degree in health studies degree covers a broad range of topics and helps you develop the skills to follow a career in health, social care, leisure or education

  • Physical therapy has become more prevalent among aging population, therefore the need for trained professionals in this field will increase
  • Radiation therapists with training in machine operation, oncology patient care, biology and more will be in demand
  • Registered nurses, nurse anaesthetists, nurse midwives and nurse practitioners
  • Medical sonographers and technologists
  • Pharmacovigilance and regulatory audits in pharma

Going forward, retraining and enabling individuals to learn marketable new skills will be a challenge in this landscape. Businesses will need to take lead for on-the-job training and providing opportunities to workers to upgrade their skills. While most healthcare organisations have missions around providing care, not all of them showcase their culture and values. They should emphasise on developing a reputation as an organisation with an excellent culture and clear mission.

  • A global growth partnership company
  • Offering programmes that help employees manage stress and improve health can attract candidates who understand the pressures of the healthcare environment.
  • Hospitals that invest heavily in training and career development tend to be magnets for higher quality talent, making recruitment easier.
  • The single biggest constraint for the success of an organisation is the ability to get and to hang on to enough of the right people. Organisations must create an official retention plan and an open feedback system from employees.
  • Awards, official recognition programmes, and bonuses all help staff feel appreciated and are simple measures that often get missed. Rewards and recognition must be both intrinsic and extrinsic. Extrinsic motivation is recognition and rewards such as bonuses, whereas intrinsic motivation is even more important. This allows employees to feel connected, and feel that they have autonomy and freedom and opportunity for personal growth.
  • A strong employer brand, good recruitment process, and a positive working environment will help organisations attract and retain the very best talent.

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