The growing cost of healthcare is driving structural change in the industry, making it a more attractive market for outsourcing service providers. While the industry remains highly politicised, cost concerns around delivering healthcare to an ageing population will ultimately force organisations to adopt outsourcing.
New analysis from global growth consulting company, Frost & Sullivan, The Australia Enterprise Outsourcing Market in the Healthcare sector 2006 - 2010, reveals that the Australian healthcare market differs from comparable countries in that - unlike the US - it is essentially driven by public policy and has few competitive features, and – unlike the UK – is unlikely to undergo wholesale privatisation in the near future. Reforms will make the industry an attractive proposition for outsourcing services companies, but these changes are likely to be driven by governments, rather than by private industry.
"Australia’s rapidly ageing population is putting pressure on CIOs in the healthcare sector to deploy new and innovative patient care and administrative systems to reduce the cost of service, and provide more flexible patient care", says senior industry analyst at Frost & Sullivan Australia, Simon Hayes.
"Opportunities exist for service providers to deliver outsourced IT services and businesses processes, but those service providers must position their offerings in a way that identifies and quantifies the cost savings they offer."
Unlike most other markets, healthcare is highly dependent on political decisions, and service providers need to be aware that demand is largely driven by government policy, rather than by competition. Hence while there exists a need for technology, the drivers for it remain handicapped.
Adds Mr. Hayes, "Private providers are also heavily dependent on political decisions and aged care providers are dependent on government policy to determine funding for beds and community care, as are private hospital providers. Primary care physicians are highly regulated, through registration/ethical restrictions and the Medicare system, as are pharmacists."
"The health insurance sector is extremely fragmented, with few funds having more than 5 per cent market share."
Federal control of healthcare – while rife with potential constitutional problems - would help break the present culture, which rejects outsourcing, and would most likely create a level of competition between public and private health, leading health agencies to seek efficiencies and cost savings through contracting work to third parties.
The Australia Enterprise Outsourcing Market in Healthcare 2006 - 2010 Demand & Supply reports forms part of Frost & Sullivan Australia’s enterprise outsourcing subscription, which includes research on the following sectors: Enterprise Outsourcing Opportunities in the Australian BFSI Vertical (published May 2007) and Enterprise Outsourcing Opportunities in the Australian Government (published in August 2007). This service can be purchased separately or bundled as a full report.
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