The health care sector is basically an integration and aggregation of various sectors in the economy that provides medical products and services to cure patients with curative, preventative, rehabilitation, and post-operative care. The health care sector includes health care providers such as hospitals, physicians, clinics, nursing homes, home health agencies, mental health services, pharmaceutical drugs manufacturers, lab specialists, advertising, and marketing organizations, and suppliers of health care equipment and supplies. In addition, the health care sector also includes the nursing and related job market that has increased over the years. A further expansion is seen in the field of home health care and hospice services where health professionals such as nurses, doctors, and other health care professionals work alongside patients. All these arrangements have made health care more profitable and popular than any other sector.
The health-care sector indirectly contributes to the overall health of the nation by reducing health insurance costs and promoting better health. Many economists believe that the health care sector could amount to over ten percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) of the nation. Since the government provides direct health care benefits through health insurance, the employment levels are expected to continue to rise.
The healthcare industry is also a major employer, providing jobs to not only healthcare professionals but also technicians, administrative staff, and sales personnel. It is also worth noting that a large number of highly trained HCPs are employed in hospitals and other medical establishments as nurse practitioner and physician assistants. These professionals are required to have a master’s degree and extensive experience in providing healthcare services. Some HCPs are licensed, and registered nurses but are primarily trained as physicians or dentists.
A large number of domestic health care employees live in the rural areas. The U.S. Census data shows that almost 55 percent of them live in the rural areas of the country. Rural people are more vulnerable to poverty because they have fewer opportunities for higher education and employment. Thus, they tend to remain unemployed and therefore they are more susceptible to health problems. The health-care industry helps these people escape from poverty by offering them affordable and quality health care services. This is the reason why the health care sector is considered to be an engine for upward mobility.
There are several reasons why the health care industry claims an economic value of ten percent to the nation’s GDP. The healthcare industry contains numerous employment options for women. Women hold leading positions in the field of medicine including surgeons, nurses, doctors, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, and other medical practitioners. This is another reason why this industry is considered to be a key driver for economic growth. Other employment options include those provided by contractors such as psychologists, physical therapists, and administrative staff.
Another aspect of this industry is its indirect contribution to the overall health care costs of the nation. As it plays a major role in treating patients, it indirectly contributes to reducing overall health care costs. The indirect effect of this sector is in part determined by the quality of service delivery, which is determined by factors such as timely diagnosis, effective treatment, personalized patient care, use of technology, intake of preventative services, etc. Thus, this sector is important to the overall health care system and can thus be concluded as a major contributor to economic growth.