Growing medical recruitment market held back by global skills shortage

medical recruitment
medical recruitment

Growing medical recruitment market held back by global skills shortage

The global population currently seeking healthcare services is growing for a variety of unique reasons – including longevity, and better health-related education. Unfortunately, the number of skilled healthcare workers is unable to even begin to match the demand. What can be done, asks Vanessa Rogers on behalf of Executive Placements.

Advisory firm Mordor Intelligence, which has recently offered to market a “Medical Recruitment Market Size and Share Analysis – growth trends and forecasts” report, estimates that the medical recruitment market segment will see a compound annual growth rate of 3.2 percent between 2023 and 2028.

According to their research, “the surge in demand for medical professionals across the globe, rising numbers of healthcare services, and rising [growth in] healthcare centers (such as super speciality and multi-speciality hospitals)” is expected to swell this market growth in the near future.

Another factor they cite in the report, which is likely to drive demand for healthcare services of all kinds, is the growing geriatric population – who as a group are more vulnerable than the general population to a range of “metabolic and lifestyle disorders, diminished bodily functions, cognitive impairment, and [reduced] mobility”, reveal the authors. Their research concurs with that of the UN Department of Economics and Social Affairs, who in 2022/2023 revealed that the current global population of 771 million individuals aged 65 and over was likely to increase to 994 million by 2030 and 1.6 billion by 2050.

While this research, and other taking place into the medical recruitment market and its potential bodes well for those investigating medical jobs, either in their own region or elsewhere, a significant issue has been raised: that of a general shortfall of available talent.

Reasons for the shortfall

According to Passmed, a platform developed by doctors to help students excel in their exams and reach their career goals, just a few of the reasons leading to the global shortage – which is currently at 7 million and could rise to 13 million by 2035  – include:

• growing populations and a better educated public;
• natural disasters and health crises (such as what we experienced most recently during the Ebola epidemic and Covid-19 pandemic);
• imbalances in healthcare workers distribution between urban and rural areas, and developed and developing countries;
• the need for more holistic and preventive healthcare approaches, so that there is a smaller burden of lifestyle disease and/or need to practice emergency medicine;
• the need for greater pay and gender equality by means of better frameworks to oversee education and training, recruitment and retention of staff, as well as to curtail migration away from regions such as sub-Saharan Africa (where the statistics reveal we have only three percent of the world’s doctors and nurses, but 11 percent of the global population and 24 percent of the global burden of disease).

Ways to boost the crisis-level shortage

Just one of a plethora of global consulting firms seeking solutions to the critical shortage in healthcare workers, PwC’s blend of human-resource and IT-related measures include:

• increasing flexibility in care models, such as expandsing on the possibilities of virtual care and home care;

• making significant and insightful investments in the digital tools that can track workflow, patient volumes, and bed management to improve overall facility productivity;
• improving the overall healthcare working environment – where administrative hassles are digitised and patient care is rewarded. This is because incentives, such as shorter working hours and better paid
medical jobs, will prevent skilled healthcare workers leaving understaffed facilities and regions, and indeed the industry at large.

With 67 percent of healthcare CEOs commenting that “labour and skills shortages would have a big impact on profitability over the next 10 years”, higher than the overall global average from all sector CEOs of 52 percent (according to PwC research)”, finding long-term solutions to the issue that do not erode current healthcare worker morale or undermine patient care are becoming increasingly important.