On this page

Australia’s health epicentre

Australia’s national healthcare system is regarded as one of the world’s very best. In fact, it was ranked second in the world by the Commonwealth Fund.

At the epicentre of Australia’s health and life sciences sector, NSW has an operating budget of over $20 billion, with more than 228 hospitals and 114,000 full-time equivalent staff.  What’s more, almost all global pharmaceutical and medical device companies base their Australian operations in Sydney. Our state also enjoys extensive local and foreign investment. In 2016, international investors financed over $3.4 billion into Australia’s health and life sciences.

The NSW Government also invests in creating state-of-the-art health infrastructure. A record $8 billion is committed to major capital programs between 2018 and 2022. This investment will see entirely new hospital and healthcare facilities built, as well as upgrades and redevelopments to existing ones. From 2018 to 2026, NSW Health will invest over $500 million in eHealth initiatives to make sure its technology continues to support the delivery of quality health services.

An integrated approach to clinical care ensures continued sector growth. As such, the NSW Government designs and builds infrastructure in partnership with the private sector. Subsequently, our state is home to 109 private licensed day procedure centres and 98 licensed private hospitals.

Quick facts: NSW health and life sciences sector

Demand for investment in both health services and health technology in NSW is growing due to the following socio-demographic factors, market conditions and technology trends.

  • Economies of scale. NSW has the largest healthcare sector in Australia, representing 28% of Australia’s entire output.
  • Ageing population. Across Australia, demand for healthcare services continues to grow. The proportion of Australia’s population aged over 65 is forecast to increase from 15.5% in 2017 to 16.8% by 2022.
  • Growing demand from Asia. Australia’s healthcare services are experiencing unprecedented demand as Asia’s population ages and become more affluent. NSW is well placed to capitalise on this trend. We have a robust regulatory system, a reputation for quality and a globally-renowned healthcare system. We’re just hours away from many of Asia’s most important centres and have a skilled and multicultural workforce.
  • Health technologies. Smart healthcare is becoming a reality. By encouraging investment in areas such as data mining, artificial intelligence and robotics, NSW is capitalising on this transition. We intend on being at the forefront of the next wave of health technology.
  • Substantial domestic market. Australia has the 12th largest pharmaceutical sales market in the world and the second largest in the Asia Pacific.
  • Local specialists. We have specialist expertise in critical sub-sectors such as medical technology and aged care. With two medical schools in the top 50 globally (The University of Sydney and University of NSW), our state has the skills and talent to support a growing health and life sciences sector.

Health and life science initiatives

Health and life science businesses in NSW enjoy unparalleled support and assistance through numerous public and private initiatives.

Integrating care

As part of the New South Wales Integrated Care Strategy, the NSW Government committed $180 million over six years to integrating local care at a system-wide level. Three areas — Western Sydney, Central Coast and Western New South Wales Local Health Districts —are piloting this approach.

Development and commercialisation

The NSW Medical Devices Fund receives funding of $8.2 million a year to encourage and support investment in the development and commercialisation of medical devices and related technologies in NSW.

Meanwhile, the NSW Medical Device Commercialisation Training Program provides career development opportunities in medical device development and commercialisation.

NSW is also home to the growing NSW Medical Technology Knowledge Hub, a vehicle for collaboration between academia, industry and government. The hub has a heavy commercialisation focus.


World-leading education and research institutions underpin NSW's vibrant biotech industry. Our state is home to 30% of Australia’s biotech companies, and most of these are located in Sydney, including local representatives of global biopharmaceutical companies such as:

The co-location of major hospitals with major university campuses and medical research institutes offers an unparalleled opportunity for industry to meaningfully engage with the research community in developing treatments and innovations and bringing them to market.

Key biotechnology precincts in NSW are located in:

  • Randwick, Sydney (Prince of Wales Hospital/University of NSW)
  • Westmead, Sydney (Westmead Children’s Hospital)
  • Camperdown, Sydney (Royal Prince Alfred Hospital)
  • Darlinghurst, Sydney (St Vincent’s Hospital)
  • New Lambton, Hunter Valley (John Hunter Hospital/University of New England/Hunter Medical Research Institute HMRI).

NSW has also invested in a $12 million Biobank, which is the first and largest facility of its kind in the southern hemisphere and uses robotic technology to store and process millions of bio-specimens for research.

Current investment opportunities in health and life sciences

With a state-of-the-art healthcare system, top research institutions and thriving medical and pharmaceutical industries, NSW is the ideal location to develop and market new medical technologies.

  • Westmead. More than $3.4 billion of public and private investment has been committed to rebuilding Westmead over the next decade. A further $2.4 billion of projects required to transform Westmead into Western Sydney’s first true innovation District by 2036 has also been identified. These investments in Westmead’s future growth and development will stimulate the creation of new, knowledge-based, jobs and industries in Western Sydney, providing significant opportunities for investors.
  • MedTech. The size and scope of our health system mean there are real opportunities for technology founders looking to commercialise medical technology applications. Additionally, the thriving startup ecosystem in NSW, supported by Sydney’s status as a leading global finance hub (43 of Australia’s 53 local and foreign-owned banks are headquartered in Sydney) makes the state a natural location for commercialising technology.
Read more

Interested in finding out about the health and life sciences opportunities in Sydney and NSW? Speak to the NSW Investment Concierge today.