Cost of pain

Analysis

The cost of pain in Australia

A painful reality

Deloitte Access Economics has prepared a report for Painaustralia that estimates the impact of chronic pain in Australia.

Deloitte Access Economics was commissioned by Painaustralia to establish the local and Australia wide socioeconomic impact of pain, and to conduct a cost effectiveness analysis of health interventions that could reduce the impact of pain in Australia.

In this report, evidence has been presented to demonstrate the burden of chronic pain in Australia, including health system, productivity and carer costs, other financial costs and the loss of wellbeing.

The key findings include:

  • 3.24 million Australians were living with chronic pain in 2018. 53.8% are women and 68.3% are of working age
  • For the majority (56%) of Australians living with chronic pain, their pain restricts what activities they are able to undertake
  • The total financial cost of chronic pain in Australia in 2018 was estimated to be $73.2 billion, comprising $12.2 billion in health system costs, $48.3 billion in productivity losses, and $12.7 billion in other financial costs, such as informal care, aids and modifications and deadweight losses
  • People with chronic pain also experience a substantial reduction in their quality of life, valued at an additional $66.1 billion
  • The costs of chronic pain are expected to increase from $139.3 billion in 2018 to $215.6 billion by 2050 in real 2017-18 dollars
  • An extension of best practice care to Australian patients could lead to substantial savings and better health outcomes.

Published: April 2019

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