Medical applications are expected to account for over 40% of the $1.1 trillion in medical spending in 2024, according to the latest projections from consultancy Deloitte.
The sector, however, will face challenges in the coming years, with many patients choosing to continue with non-emergency surgeries and surgeries without a medical degree, according a report commissioned by the Australian Medical Association.
The report predicts the number of operations that could be performed with a medical license will decline from over 10,000 in 2020 to less than 2,000 by 2025.
The main challenge is that people in the medical profession are still trying to keep up with the changes, said Deloiste chief executive Richard Fergus.
“It is a challenge for the medical industry because the demand for services and the demand of surgeons are both increasing,” he said.
“So we are seeing more and more surgeons in hospitals, so we need to be able to recruit them more quickly.”
Dr Fergus said the future of the industry depended on the continued growth of the economy and the ability of doctors to deliver the high-quality services they do.
He said the current shortage of surgeons was not a concern for the sector.
“The number of surgeries in the sector is not going to change very much in the next few years,” he told the ABC.
“We will see a lot of people who have never worked in a hospital coming in.”
He said surgeons would not have to be licensed under the Medical Services (Licensing) Act as they already had the authority to do so.
“There is no reason why a doctor who is in a different country cannot operate there, or operate on a patient in the same state, and that is all there is to it,” he explained.
“If you are a surgeon who is already licensed and you are also a surgeon, there is nothing that you need to change, you will be able do the same surgery on a regular basis.”‘
More jobs for nurses’Despite the challenges, Dr Fergus believes it will be the best years of the sector for surgeons.
“More jobs will be created in the future in the healthcare sector,” he added.
“I am sure that the new hospital projects and the new facilities will create jobs.”
In terms of the overall health, we will see more nurses in hospitals.
The quality of care will improve.
“This will not happen overnight.
It is going to take time, but it will happen.”
The Australian Medical Council (AMA) is currently considering changes to the medical licensing legislation that will affect the profession and will include a requirement that surgeons need to have at least a Bachelor’s degree.