The medical instrumentation business is soaring and growing at a rapid pace.
And while there’s always room for more growth in the sector, the key question for those who work in the field is what will it cost to buy and run it?
As more medical equipment firms, particularly those in Australia, enter the lucrative medical device market, the question of who should be buying and running it has emerged as a major political issue.
The latest research from the University of Adelaide shows the average Australian household spends about $2,000 on medical equipment each year.
While this amount is a substantial amount for a country with such a small population, it represents a significant amount of disposable income for those working in the industry.
In fact, it’s the third-largest amount spent per person in Australia on medical devices in 2018, trailing only the value of food and beverages and education.
This is despite the fact that the average annual income of a medical device employee is only $15,000, which is less than the $34,000 the average household spends per year on food and alcohol, according to the research.
It’s an argument that has been gaining traction in recent weeks, with the Federal Opposition calling for a $1,000 tax hike to help cover the cost of the medical equipment industry.
Labor has also made a bid to boost the industry by offering incentives to those that invest in medical equipment.
Labor’s healthcare spokeswoman, Catherine King, has also said the Government needs to create more jobs in the medical device sector.
“We have a shortage of medical devices and the Australian Medical Association is warning that there is an oversupply,” she said.
“There are people working in medical devices, but there’s no jobs in medical device manufacturing.”
While the medical technology industry is booming at the moment, the challenge is how to get the new supply of medical equipment into the hands of people who need it the most.
While the cost for purchasing and running a medical instrument is relatively low compared to the cost to make and install the devices themselves, there’s still a huge amount of investment required to run a medical equipment company.
And as such, it will likely take more than just a massive infusion of money to make a significant dent in the current shortage.
“The problem is that we have a medical supply chain that’s not really well organised,” Professor Tudge said.
Topics:health,workers,business-economics-and-finance,health-policy,business,healthcare-facilities,health,federal-government,australiaFirst posted April 09, 2019 08:20:49Contact Rebecca MartinMore stories from Western Australia