Strong growth predicted for the medical services industry

7 May 2018

Report findings

The federal government’s commitment to Medicare, coupled with Australia’s aging population, will see anticipated revenue growth of 15.7% in the five years to June 20221 for the medical services industry.

Despite this optimistic outlook, earnings for GPs will remain sluggish during this period, with wages declining by 0.6% compared to a 11.4% rise for specialists2.

These are some of the findings from the Bankwest Future of Business: Focus on Medical Services report, published by Bankwest as part of its Focus on Industry series.

The report shows visits to doctors and specialists are rising. The number of Australians who visited a GP rose 1.5% to 20.8 million in the year to June 2017, while the number of Australians seeing a specialist rose by 2.1%3 people to 7.84 million. Growth in Western Australia’s general and specialist medical services sector was the largest nationwide, with a 7.3% increase in specialist attendances and a 5.8% increase in GP attendances during the same period.

Commenting on the report Bankwest General Manager of Business Banking WA, Richard Bator, says: 'The delivery of Australian medical services is changing, with key stakeholders advocating greater access and calibrating their service to best achieve patient outcomes.'

'The rising costs of Medicare, pressure on the public purse and Australia’s goal to be a medical services exporter will provide vast opportunity for greater adoption of technology and innovation within the industry to drive down industry costs5.'

'Recent innovation has included double-sided online marketplaces connecting practitioners with patients, sensory technology and biomarking to facilitate services and adopt a more preventative approach to healthcare and chronic disease.'

The report says the introduction of Health Care Homes , which is designed to improve healthcare for patients with chronic and complex conditions, keeping them in their home and out of the hospital system, will provide greater convenience for patients as they can access a diverse range of services beyond GPs6.

While less efficient services will be reformed, the latest review to urgent after-hours doctors’ services will seek to contain the 154.7% growth this part of the industry experienced in the five years to June 2016.

Mr Bator added: 'Understanding the factors impacting the industry, and how other businesses in the industry are performing, can be agreat gauge for how your business is tracking.'

'This report is designed to provide a snapshot of the evolving state of the medical services industry, and to help businesses plan for the future.'


  1. IBIS 2017
  2. IBIS 2017
  3. Department of Health 2017
  4. Does not include obstetrics and anaesthetics
  5. Australian Trade and Investment Commission 2017
  6. Department of Health 2017

About the report

The Bankwest Future of Business: Focus on Medical Services Report covers Australia’s medical services sector, summarising trends based on statistics from IBIS World, the Australian Bureau of Statistics and other reputable sources.

For more information contact:

Robert Cory
Head of External Communications
0472 849 102

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