The health care sector in the Northern Territory comprises a wide range of service providers, enterprises and products, from medical practitioners, medical imaging and pharmacies to medical equipment distributors, pathology laboratories and nursing homes.
In 2009-10, the health care and social assistance industry contributed just under 6% to the overall Territory Gross State Product and accounted for 10.7% of the Territory workforce making it the second largest employer.
Hospitals and Nursing Homes
Employment in the health care sector in the Territory is dominated by workers in hospitals and nursing homes, including general physicians, specialists, nurses and allied health care workers such as physiotherapists, ophthalmologists, dentists and others.
Over 2009, the contribution of hospitals to employment in the Northern Territory was approximately 4330 workers (or 36% of total jobs in the health care sector).
Most hospitals are short of residential accommodation for visiting specialists, nursing and other medical and health care staff. Many of these have vacant land for construction of residences, and the high demand would virtually guarantee 100% occupancy throughout the year. As the real estate and construction sectors in the Northern Territory are among the strongest in the country, construction of staff and health care student accommodation on the grounds of clinics and hospitals would be an attractive investment opportunity.
Medical and Dental Services
Services are provided by professionals based at hospitals and clinics as well as mobile services to service patients in regional and remote areas, in their homes, and nursing homes.
Demand for health care services in the Territory exceeds supply, and many practices could expand and grow their businesses if premises could be extended or new premises built to provide additional consultation rooms, laboratories and other support facilities.
Other health services
Other health services in the Northern Territory, including allied health (for example, audiology, occupational therapy, dietician services, midwifery), accounted for 1362 (or 11%) of the health care sector jobs in 2009.
- In 2009-10, the health care and social assistance industry accounted for approximately 10.7% of the labour force in the Northern Territory.
- The industry contributed just under 6% to the Territory Gross State Product.
Source: 2011-12 NT Budget
Possible investment opportunities
Education and Training
The Northern Territory has particular expertise in Indigenous, remote and tropical health, particularly for infectious diseases such as melioidosis and rheumatic fever. Training packages and public health coursework could be developed and would be well-received by students and health care practitioners in Australia and abroad.
Pharmaceutical companies might be interested in running clinical trials in the Northern Territory, particularly for Phase I trials (on healthy subjects to test for safety and best mode of administration) or Phase II trials (on individuals suffering from the target disease or condition, to evaluate optimum dosage and confirm results of Phase I trials). The Menzies School of Health Research has an internationally acclaimed reputation in various aspects of tropical, remote and Indigenous health and has expertise in clinical trials, and could assist with initial approaches from potential investors to do clinical trials in the Territory.
Residential Accommodation (for health care staff, visiting specialists and students)
As indicated above, demand generally exceeds supply, in term of permanent or temporary accommodation associated with hospitals, clinics and other premises for health care provision, providing an opportunity for investment in construction of residential short- and long-term housing.
Management of Clinical and Quarantine Wastes
An opportunity exists for investment in emerging technologies with the potential to have either a mobile unit or stationary facility to treat clinical wastes, much of which currently has to be trucked south to larger regional centres.
The Department of Business’ Industry Development Unit is growing the Northern Territory’s economic base by working with targeted industry sectors to identify new and additional opportunities for Territory businesses.
|Tel: +61 8 8999 5091
Fax: +61 8999 5106
|Department of Business
GPO Box 3200
Darwin NT 0801
76 The Esplanade
Darwin NT 0800
Content current at 23 May 2011.