Asbestos-related diseases are costing millions
Commissioned by the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency (ASEA), a report by the Centre for International Economics has estimated that the cost associated with asbestos-related diseases in one year is over $500 million.
According to the report, there were over 4100 deaths in Australia in 2015 due to asbestos-related diseases and 10,444 prevalent cases of disease. Initial cases of the disease were due to asbestos mining but a new wave of cases is expected to be associated with non-occupational exposure as home renovators in particular are exposed.
‘The economic burden of asbestos-related diseases’ report measures the medical and economic opportunity costs associated with asbestos-related disease. It estimates the direct cost of hospital and primary care to be $192 million per year while the indirect cost associated with time out of the workplace is approximately $321 million per year.
The direct healthcare costs include:
- $53.7 million hospital costs
- $48.4 million for specialists and other health practitioners
- $21.5 million for GP costs
- $59 million for pharmaceutical costs
ASEA CEO Peter Tighe said that while we know the human toll of asbestos-related disease, it is the first time that the cost has been calculated in this way.
“Given the high cost of these avoidable diseases, it is very clear that our focus should be on the prevention of exposure to asbestos in Australia.”
For the full report, visit: www.asbestossafety.gov.au/research-publications.
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