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H. Taylor, L. Pezzullo, J. Keeffe; The Economic Impact and Cost of Visual Impairment in Australia . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2005;46(13):1104.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Purpose:To estimate the cost of vision in Australia. Methods:A comprehensive analysis of the cost of vision loss in Australia used the data from two population–based studies; unpublished data on the indirect cost of vision loss to the individual and their family members; and an extensive database on health care costs and other economic data from Government sources. (All amounts are in Australian dollars). Results: Vision disorders cost Australia an astounding AU$9.85 billion in 2004. AU$4.8 billion are attributable to the burden of disease (years of life lost due to disability). Vision disorders ranked seventh and accounts for 2.7% of the national total. Direct costs total AU$1.9 billion. They have increased by AU$1 billion over the last 10 years and will increase a further $1 – 2 billion in the next 10 years. One–third of the direct costs are hospital–related and another relate to ophthalmic, optometric and pharmaceutical costs. Cataract, the largest direct cost, takes18% of expenditure. The direct costs place vision disorders seventh, ahead of arthritis, heart disease, diabetes and stroke. Indirect costs are AU$3.2 billion. This includes carers’ costs, low vision aids, and lost earnings and taxes. Conclusions: Three–quarters of vision loss is avoidable and many interventions are extraordinarily cost effective. A developed economy, such as Australia, cannot afford avoidable vision loss. It needs to prioritise adequate health care expenditure to prevent those eye diseases that can be prevented; to treat those eye diseases that can be treated, including the provision of low vision services; and to increase research into eye diseases that at present can be neither prevented nor treated.
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