Exporters with expertise in upgrading and implementing workforce training & upskilling, equipment, technology, facilities and infrastructure for hospitals and supporting services could capitalize on increased spending in the Australian healthcare system.

Over the past two years, Australia’s healthcare system has been put under a microscope as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. This has shown a significant shortage of healthcare professionals, a challenge the Australian Private Hospitals Association (APHA) CEO Michael Roff, says is the single biggest challenge facing healthcare in Australia.

Backlogs and shortfalls being addressed

Currently, Australia is experiencing large backlogs in essential surgery across both the public and private hospital networks and the shortfall in nurses is estimated at around 5,500 nurses in the private sector alone.

To address the current health system shortcomings, Australian federal and state governments are investing a wide array of areas in the healthcare industry, from the workforce to emergency care and infrastructure. This aims to meet current demand and ensure the longevity of a high-quality healthcare sector in Australia.

Wisconsin exporters with products and services used for training and upskilling healthcare workforces and improving operational efficiency for health care delivery may find opportunity in Australia. Additionally, Wisconsin exporters with expertise in upgrading equipment, facilities and infrastructure for hospitals and supporting services may find opportunity across Australia, given current government spending initiatives.

Investment from the Long Term National Health Plan

The Australian Government’s Long Term National Health Plan will receive A$132 billion (~US$89.6bn) from the 2022-23 Health Budget, an investment that will be spread across the width of the Australian health system. Some examples of key investments include:

  • A$4.2 billion (~US$2.85bn) to ensure the emergency COVID-19 response activities and vaccine rollout is effectively maintained
  • A$375.6 million (~US$187.8m) over 4 years to establish a Western Australian Comprehensive Cancer Care Centre.
  • A$72 million (~US$49m) over 4 years for Phase 3 of the Health Delivery Modernisation Program.

The NSW and Victorian State Governments are also committed to significant investment in health services and infrastructure in their 2022-23 Budgets including:

  • A$4.5 billion (~US$3bn) in recruitment of over 10,000 FTE staff to hospitals and health services across NSW.
  • A$1.8 billion (~US$1.8bn) to enable NSW Ambulance to recruit over 2,000 staff and open 30 new ambulance stations between 2023-26. 
  • A$900 million (~US$613m) for new Melton Hospital in Melbourne’s west.
  • A$743.4 million (~US$506.5m) over 5 years to enhance palliative care services.
  • A$35 million (~US$23.8) for the Medical Equipment Replacement Program.

Wisconsin exporters interested in pursuing opportunities are encouraged to routinely check the respective government tender websites, AusTender, HealthShareNSW and HealthShareVictoria and reach out to WEDC for an initial discussion on how their team can assist.

July 2022