Pemba Pulse: Overcoming challenges in the Healthcare Services industry

19th May 2023
Elle Article Image scaled 1 - Pemba Pulse: Overcoming challenges in the Healthcare Services industry

Elle Solferini

It is no secret that the Healthcare Services industry was one of the most severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Aside from the immediate repercussions, experts have stated that the pandemic has highlighted several underlying pressures directly impacting businesses in the space. From labour shortages to regulatory changes, management teams find themselves having to take a pre-emptive approach to ensure their business model is defensible and sustainable.

With current partnership investments in several Healthcare Services businesses across Home Care, Nursing, Staffing, Disability Care and Veterinary Services, Pemba works closely with founders and management teams to overcome these headwinds and empower the continued delivery of high-quality patient care. The Pemba philosophy is centred around the concept of the ‘Sherpa’ – experienced mountaineers who support the ascent of their partners as they climb and achieve their next level of growth. Living this philosophy, Pemba’s core focus is to support our partner companies to navigate these pressures and best position themselves in the current climate.

“We have seen operating margins deteriorate in certain segments of the healthcare landscape due to heightened workforce shortages combined with cost inflation, increased compliance and regulatory pressures. These pressures typically have a bigger negative impact on smaller independent providers who lack the scale and central support to mitigate these challenges. Larger, more developed companies have the ability to invest time and capital in driving operational improvement and to ultimately defray rising costs” – Robert Haybittel, Lead Healthcare Partner at Pemba.

Pemba partner companies have approached the industry wide labour shortages through focusing on recruitment and retention of workers. As a Buy & Build specialist, Pemba looks to strategically partner with several businesses in complimentary settings, allowing the individual businesses to leverage the shared efficiencies and resources of a larger group. Pemba recently partnered with five leading Australian businesses in the Aged Care, Home Care & Staffing sector, with the management teams reporting experiencing a strong uplift in workforce recruitment and retention.

“We have found that recruitment and retention of skilled workers in a larger group is more robust as the business can implement and embed innovative processes to attract and retain talent, whilst offering workers exciting career pathways and opportunities to work in a range of settings and regions” – Robert Haybittel.

Similarly, having a larger presence in a market can help combat cost pressures through negotiations with health funds and other suppliers. Our partner companies have been able to leverage the bargaining power of a scaled group and drive more cost-effective procurement. These efficiencies add up to a material amount and enable further investment into the growth of the business.

Whilst procurement can be viewed as a quick win, regulatory changes pose a more complex obstacle to service providers. The regulatory environment can be extremely onerous for independent business owners with compliance frameworks and audits. It is imperative that they strike the balance between being compliant and providing high quality service offering whilst continuing to grow.

One of the core functions that Pemba looks to build out in a partner group of companies is Clinical Governance within a shared services platform. Through extending dedicated clinical teams at a group level who dedicate their time to regulation and compliance day in and day out, our Partner companies can ensure they are at the forefront of these changes and continue to uphold strong clinical standards. The most impactful outcome of this initiative is the reduction of regulatory burden at the individual business level, empowering the team to focus on service delivery and growth initiatives.

Through over 20 years of successful partnerships, Pemba has experienced the transformation of the healthcare industry alongside founders and management teams. In the current climate, healthcare businesses that can grow and adapt quickly are more likely to succeed. Through strategic partnerships, healthcare businesses can access the resources they need to achieve sustainable growth and stay ahead of the competition.




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