Ireland’s healthcare sector is experiencing a boom in nursing, medical and life sciences jobs.
There has been a lot of talk in recent months about Ireland’s economic recovery. Unemployment has fallen, and every other day seems to bring a new jobs creation announcement. Commentators like to point to Ireland’s ICT sector – and it is true that tech firms have been responsible for creating many new highly skilled jobs – but lost in the noise about start-ups, scale-ups and international tech giants is the fact that Ireland’s healthcare sector is booming too.
Virtual Expos online recruitment event for the Nursing, Medical and Life Sciences sector takes place on 31st August 2016, and it couldn’t come at a better time. Recent months have seen a number of jobs announcements in the healthcare sector. Leading healthcare provider, Nua Healthcare announced the creation of 800 new jobs; TTM Group, which runs facilities for disabled people and home care, is to take on 500 staff; the pharmaceutical firm MSD is creating 200 new jobs in counties Carlow, Cork and Tipperary; and the American healthcare firm Opko announced it was to expand by 200 new roles in Waterford. These are just a handful of recent jobs announcements in the nursing, medical and life sciences sectors.
Critical roles need to be filled
A number of critical healthcare sector roles need to be filled. Irish hospitals have a shortfall of staff, particularly in frontline services. This May, the Irish Nurses and Midwives organisation secured confirmation from the HSE that all vacant nursing posts in emergency departments will be filled. Over 144 staff nurses in emergency departments are needed.
As well as nurses, junior doctors, physiotherapists and other health related professions are highly sought after. However Ireland is competing with hospitals and healthcare providers in the UK, Europe and in countries further afield, such as Australia, to recruit qualified staff. That’s good news for healthcare professionals, but it does mean that Irish healthcare employers need to look beyond local recruiting to fill these roles.
Growth in the medtech sector
It is not just hospitals and home care providers that need staff. Ireland is open of the top 5 global medtech hubs, and the sector is experiencing rapid growth. Innovation is driving this. The Irish app player 3D4Medical recently won a top design award from Apple; and Dublin-based Mainstay Medical raised €30m and plans to conduct clinical trials for its flagship product, ReActiv8, an implantable neuro-stimulation system to treat chronic back pain. As well as home-grown talent, US companies are investing in Ireland too – life sciences technologies company Surmodics is to expand by 100 new jobs in Ireland and Zeltiq to create 60 jobs in Galway.
The second European MedTech Week took place between 13 and 17 June in Dublin.Opening the event, Sinead Keogh of the Irish Medical Devices Association noted that Ireland has been a global leader in the sector.
“Health is a personal issue, but the Irish medtech industry has a strong record for driving new innovations that put patient care first. The sector’s ambition has led exports to quadruple in the past decade to €12.6 billion and 2,000 jobs were added last year,” she said.
Minister for Health, Simon Harris added, “The medical technology sector in Ireland is of prime importance both within healthcare settings and in the wider economy. It is a key player in achieving Ireland’s healthcare goals.”
Staffing is crucial for the sector to keep growing. Again, this news is positive for anyone working in medtech and related fields. But with competition for staff at a high, employers will increasingly find that traditional recruiting methods are not enough.