The healthcare workforce is changing

working healthbusiness

The amount of people working in the healthcare sector keeps on growing. But the profile of this workforce is changing: it’s more feminine and there’s a shift towards independent and freelance workers going on. Are you one of those people working in healthcare?

And if so: what is your working situation? Do you fly solo or in a team?  

More people working in the healthcare sector and different profiles

About half a million people in Belgium are working in the healthcare sector now. They include health and care professionals, people working in pharma, health startup and scaleup founders, health administration and insurance profiles and many more.

If you add up all people focusing on the healthcare sector in their day to day activities, like investors, sales managers health, software engineers in health, the workforce is even more impressive.

One thing is for sure: healthcare is changing and so is the profile and working situation of many men and women like you.

If you’re one of them, this is what we know about your working situation:

  • there’s an ageing population of health professionals, especially among (male) GP’s and nurses
  • the number of female doctors (both GP and specialists) continues to increase. We’re moving towards a 50-50 ratio for specialists
  • although health professionals more often work in a group practice, you are not surrounded by colleagues all the time
  • the number of nurses keeps on growing (over 180 000 in Belgium in 2018) -mostly working as an employee
  • but there’s a remarkable growth of self-employed nurses and paramedics. Entrepreneurs organisation NSZ calculated a 5-year growth rate of 24% for self-employed nurses between 2010 and 2015.
  • health professionals now make up about 8% of all self-employed in Belgium
  • and the number of self-employed people in all sectors is booming too. Many of them work as freelancers. According to Unizo, in 3 years time, freelancers have grown with 22,7 %, mainly in consultancy and ICT. But delivering health and care counts for 8% of the freelance services.
  • moreover, health startups take the lead for some years now in Belgium. Together, they make up a dynamic and growing business ecosystem of guys and (unfortunately still too little) girls as (co-)founders of their own company and they are on a mission to change healthcare.
  • research from ING together with shows health startups intensively team up with freelance talent

But also within corporates specialised teams for the healthcare sector tend to be smaller. So these teams need to learn continuously and they use external expertise on a freelance or project base to reach their goals. (feel free to check out the business advice section of dashplus if you are in that situation)

Working alone or in a small team takes different skills

In any case, whether you’re flying solo or being a member of a larger team, it takes different talents and skills today. You take multiple decisions on your one, you need wide information sources and networks to keep yourself updated, and you jump from financial to research to marketing tasks and back, all in one day.

Tell me about your working situation

So, I’m curious: what is your working situation? Are you working as an employee or as an entrepreneur? And is the healthcare team in your organisation big or small? Share it here and I’ll keep you posted on the results.

Do you want to keep informed or stay in touch with others working in the healthcare sector in Europe? Feel FREE to join the dashplus newsletter community. Every two weeks, you’ll be updated on the latest tips and tricks for health innovators.


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