Diabetes devours
health dollars

A new report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has revealed a big increase in spending on diabetes over recent years.
   The report, Diabetes expenditure in Australia 2008-09, shows spending on diabetes rose by 86 per cent between 2000-01 and 2008-09 (after taking inflation into account), which compared with a rise of 60 per cent for all diseases combined.
   Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes are the main forms of the disease.
   In Australia around 85 per cent of those with diabetes have Type 2 diabetes and around 12 per cent have Type 1 diabetes.
Most spending on Type 2
At least 60 per cent of diabetes expenditure in 2008-09 was shown in the report to be for Type 2 diabetes.
   Spokesperson for the AIHW, Susana Senes said in 2011-12, around 999,000 Australians had diabetes, representing about 4.6 per cent of the Australian population.
   “The number of Australians with diabetes is rising and the increase in spending partly reflects this,” Ms Senes said.
   “Other factors that may lead to expenditure increases include patient choices, changes to patient treatment and management options, access and costs.”
   She said total allocated health-care spending on diabetes was around $1.5 billion in 2008-09, or 2.3 per cent of all allocated health-care expenditure in Australia.
   “Diabetes spending for hospital admitted patient services was conservatively estimated to be about $647 million in 2008-09, spending for out-of-hospital medical expenses was $362 million and for blood-glucose-lowering medications it was $498 million,” she said.
   The report also shows an additional $153 million was spent on government programs and subsidies, research and gestational diabetes programs; and the area where the largest spending increase took place was for patients who were admitted to hospital, for which expenditure more than doubled – up from $300 million to $647 million between 2000-01 and 2008-09.
   The report can be accessed at this PS News link.
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