Healthcare in Australia, and indeed all over the world, is a booming business. As the population ages and people live longer, more and more money is being spent on healthcare. Globally, a third of all government budgets is spent on healthcare, and this doesn’t include the private health insurance industry or out-of-pocket costs for patients.

A cost that isn’t usually considered when looking at these budgets, however, is the cost of recruiting staff. That’s where Healthcare Australia steps in—the company is the largest health recruiter in the country, providing outsourcing solutions for hospitals and other healthcare providers. CEO of Healthcare Australia, Jason Cartwright, spoke to The CEO Magazine about his background, the issues facing healthcare in Australia, and his vision for the future.

Jason’s background, which is primarily in human resources, has served him well in his current role and given him a good grasp of what makes a good leader. “I started life as an accountant at KPMG, and then moved into the HR consulting world,” Jason explains. “Most recently, prior to coming to Healthcare Australia, I was a board director in Australia for a large multinational staffing company. I think the connection for me with my past experience to my current role is that healthcare is a people business. Around 75% of the cost of healthcare in Australia is in people, so Healthcare Australia is first and foremost a people business. As my entire career has been spent in people-based businesses, this makes it a perfect fit for me.

“Above all, a good leader needs to provide a framework to facilitate a great company culture. You need to provide a framework for the organisation to grow, and an environment where people can discuss ideas and challenges."

"When you have the right structure, it drives that culture. I think that is the most important part of leadership. I think the second part of being a leader is having a clear direction, or vision, for the company, and consistently articulating that to the organisation so that people are clear on where we are going. Third, a leader is there to facilitate culture, and I think the important thing about a culture, certainly in our industry, is that it is consultative and collaborative, which is what I have pushed here at Healthcare Australia.”