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Key Sectors of the Healthcare Industry

A high value of life expectancy and lower mortality rate are indices of a strong health care sector.

The diversity and the vastness of the healthcare sector mainly depends on the size of the population of a country. This is because the government plans accordingly so that it can meet the healthcare needs of its people.

In general, the healthcare sector can be divided into four domains that serve as the backbone of this industry. The classification is mainly done on the basis of different services and products they provide. This post gives an overview of these four domains and discusses their significance.

Domain 1: Health care services and facilities

Hospitals play a very important role in the health industry. They are the primary lifeline of the healthcare sector. There different varieties of hospital like general medical hospitals, surgical hospitals, substance abuse and psychiatric hospitals, specialty hospitals, hospices and palliative care centers, family planning and abortion clinics, emergency and other outpatient care centers, dental laboratories, blood and organ banks, sleep disorder clinics, and more, hospitals form a long chain that provides different services to the society.

This segment is subdivided based on the services provided as follows:


Diagnosis, treatment and medical services to the patients are provided by the hospitals. General medical and surgical hospitals, Psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals, Family Planning & Abortion Clinics, Palliative Care Centers, Emergency Care Centers, Sleep Disorder Clinics, Dental Laboratories, and Blood and Organ Banks fall in this category.

Facilities including nursing and residential care

Often, patients who need long-term and supervised treatment need residential care. Residential care solves this purpose and includes many facilities along with supervising so that the patient is in a 24*7 observation.

Home health care services, Nursing Care Facilities, Urgent Care Centers, Mental health and residential developmental handicap facilities, In-Home Senior Care, Community care facilities for the elderly and other residential care facilities come under this category.

Ambulatory healthcare services

Provision of direct and indirect health care services to ambulatory patients is covered in this category. Outpatient care centers, Medical and diagnostic laboratories, Ambulance Services and other ambulatory health care services come under this category.

Medical Practitioners

Medical Practitioners, Chiropractic, Dermatologists, Nutritionists and Dietitians, Psychologists, Social Workers, Marriage Counselors, Optometrists, Physical Therapists, and other alternative Healthcare providers come under this category.

Domain 2: Manufacturer of medical devices, equipment, and hospital supplies

The medical companies which supply the medical products and equipment come under this category. Medical equipment designed as per the latest technology, hospital supplies, products and services, and specialist applications are offered by these companies. The day-today advancement in science and technology in the medical fields helps in building much innovative and effective equipment, finding processes to diagnose and treat the ailments in a lot easier way. This is a large and crucial industry that ensures smooth operations and timely delivery of the equipment and tools.

Some of the examples of such medical devices are: Mammogram Machine, Laser enabled technique apparatus, Sterilization instruments, Scanning machines, Robotic Surgery apparatus, etc.

Domain 3: Medical insurance, medical services, and managed care

In simple terms, these are allied industries to the medical care industry. They are dependent on hospitals, patients, and other such medical services. For example, medical insurance is one such service. These organizations which provide the medical insurance has become a primary and chosen support for most of the treatments that involve huge expenses. The facilities like cashless treatments made the treatment hassle-free, and hence more and more patients are able to take treatment in best-facilitated hospitals.

The companies that provide medical insurance and other different types of services to the patients or other medical sectors come under this segment. Managed care also falls in this segment.

The term ‘managed care’ is an umbrella term used for denoting different techniques involved in reducing the cost of the health benefits and improve the quality of care for organizations.

Medicare, Dental Insurance, Corporate Wellness Services, Medicaid, Pharmacy Benefit Management, Healthcare Consultants, etc. are some of the examples for this segment.

Domain 4: Pharmaceuticals and Related Segments

Pharmaceutical industries mainly focus on developing, manufacturing, and marketing drugs or pharmaceuticals which are licensed for the use as medication. The requirement for inpatient and invasive care services can be eliminated by the pharmaceuticals. The government imposes different varieties of rules and regulations that should be followed by these pharmaceuticals. These laws are regarding the patenting, testing and ensuring safety and marketing of drugs.

Over-the-counter (OTC) drug stores, Dietary Fiber Supplement Manufacturing, Prescription drugs, Bio-pharmaceutical drugs, Generic drugs, Pharmaceuticals Packing & Labeling Services, Vitamin & Supplement Manufacturing, etc. are few companies that come under this segment.

These industries manufacture and market licensed drugs that are effective for better healthcare facilities. This domain also is responsible for providing employment to many people either directly or indirectly. Most drug manufacturers employ a large portion of people to enable their services as per the market requirements. For example, a scientist working in the drug design and development is a direct employee, while the chemist that runs a shop and sells drugs to patients is indirectly employed.

Ranging from drug wholesalers to drug retailers and marketing agents, many key players are involved in this pharmaceutical industry.

Notably, with the growth in population and the corresponding increase of health consciousness and demand, the production of products like nutritional supplements is increasing every year.

Besides, other sectors such as pharmaceutical, insurance, and medical equipment are also expanding to support this emerging sector. Thus, all sectors in the healthcare industry are interrelated with each other.

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