Experts Talk

The healthcare sector plays a pivotal role in driving the economy, with its workforce being a crucial factor in its success. In India, the demand for healthcare professionals has been steadily increasing owing to population growth, demographic shifts, and the rise of non-communicable diseases. Currently, there are over three million registered nurses in India which means there are only 1.7 nurses per 1000 people in India. Whereas according to WHO it should be three nurses per 1000 people. Similarly, the doctor-to-patient ratio in India (approximately 1:1500) falls short of WHO (1:1000) recommendations, especially in rural areas, posing significant challenges in delivering healthcare services efficiently nationwide.

Likewise, the global shortage of healthcare workers has spurred a significant increase in demand for Indian healthcare professionals, who are highly esteemed in the international market for their sought-after skills. With the largest number of medical colleges worldwide, India stands out as one of the primary exporters of healthcare workers to developed nations such as Europe, the Gulf region, the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Israel. Additionally, Japan and New Zealand have also emerged as new destinations for Indian nurses and doctors. NLB Services is witnessing 15% growth in demand for Indian nurses across markets like Norway, Germany, Austria, etc.

From 2021 to 2023 jobs within the healthcare sector in India saw a nearly 22% increase. Bengaluru leads in the number of healthcare job opportunities followed by other major cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, and Hyderabad. Additionally, there's a rise in healthcare jobs from tier 2 cities like Coimbatore, Ernakulam, Ahmedabad, Thiruvananthapuram, and Kochi. Looking at the migration aspect, Kerala stands out as a significant contributor to healthcare talent migration to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, particularly to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), while Gujarat is actively enhancing nursing education and training to meet global demands. In markets like Norway, UK, and UAE, demand for Indian Healthcare professions has jumped by 12-15% in the last 2-3 years.

Commenting on the current trend in the healthcare industry, Sachin Alug, CEO, NLB Services said, India is emerging as a significant source of exportable healthcare talent, particularly for Europe and the Gulf region. To address global talent shortages, there's a growing focus on cross-skilling initiatives. This ensures Indian nurses especially are equipped with the necessary skills and qualifications to meet the specific healthcare requirements of different countries. At NLB Services, we're committed to providing comprehensive training and upskilling programs for our partners in India, US, Canada, etc. This goes beyond just clinical expertise; we also help nurses adapt to the local language of their destination country. We're seeing a surge in demand from countries like Malaysia, Italy, Portugal, Poland, and Germany. The nursing talent pool is expected to grow exponentially in the next five years, with estimates suggesting a 100-fold increase.’

Additionally, a new trend of Innovation and the adoption of advanced technologies are driving growth across various sectors globally, including healthcare. The trend has emerged with a growing demand for home healthcare, including specialized services like physiotherapy, pain management, and chronic disease care. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the uptake of home healthcare services as a means to minimize exposure and alleviate the strain on healthcare facilities. This experience has led to wider acceptance and integration of remote care solutions. Similarly, while telemedicine in India is not a new concept, the importance and necessity of telemedicine services became more evident than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic. The major drivers of demand for telemedicine in India as COVID-19, societal demand, increased mobile and internet penetration, supportive government policies, advanced and emerging technologies, the role of private players, accessibility, affordability, and convenience. This space alone is expected to drive the demand for Indian Healthcare professionals by 18-20% in the next 2-3 years. 

‘While we address the global demand, a recent WHO report highlights a critical domestic shortage in India as well. The nation needs at least 1.8 million additional doctors, nurses, and midwives to achieve the recommended threshold of 44.5 healthcare workers per 10,000 people by 2030. Therefore, it's imperative for the Indian education system to adapt and cater to both domestic and international demands for skilled professionals.’ added Sachin Alug, CEO, NLB Services.

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