I was reading in the AFR about the prediction of Richard Sleijpen head of global capital markets at UBS Australasia that 2022 will be dominated by the three Is–Inflation, interest rates, and infection. He noted that investors are both exhausted and cautious about what lies ahead (sound familiar my fellow mental health clinicians?!). He also was of the opinion that the markets will be resilient but there will be a lot of unknowns and that investors will be emphasising environmental, social, and corporate governance matters.
In the health sector which is part of the economy, we will mirror some of these elements. Some predictions from me: there will be market dislocation due to an unpredictable funding environment (our investors), recruitment and workforce issues including higher wages (our version of inflation or interest rates), digitalisation and telehealth driving location of practitioners, client demands for access to services and potential consolidation of practices in terms of numbers. The effect of two years of high demand for mental health services and working from home/ homeschooling and other stresses for many clinicians has also lead them to consider alternative forms of income– for example online programs development. Many report burnout and question their passion for the field. The question of what will happen to the COVID-related mental health funding is on people’s minds.
All of this turmoil may pass but what we are seeing just like in the macroeconomy is many moving parts and a need to have our eyes wide open to what is around the corner.