Year-end totals for 2002 show why the healthcare market is one of the healthiest in the building industry. Total healthcare construction spending was 16.3% greater through the first 11 months of 2002 than during the same period in 2001 — a whopping $22 billion in 2002.
Over the first 11 months of last year, total privately funded and publicly funded combined spending for medical buildings was 5.8% higher than during January-November of 2001. Dollars spent on special care facilities increased by 9.3% over the same period of time. But spending for the new construction, expansion, or renovation of hospitals grew at the fastest rate — a staggering 21.4%.
Consolidation in the industry and general health-system-wide cost-containment initiatives limited construction activity during the second half of the 1990s. But long-term demographic trends have been unambiguously positive for the nation's healthcare sector over the past two decades, so it's not surprising to see solid growth return during the first three years of this new decade.
Total spending for healthcare construction work during November of last year was 27.4% greater than in November 2001. Publicly and privately funded activity was up by about the same magnitude from a year-earlier, but for 2002 as a whole publicly funded work, about 23% of the total, expanded at a somewhat faster rate than privately funded work.