Impact of low vision and blindness from paediatric eye disease
Socioeconomic impact in Australia
Children’s eye health is an important and challenging issue across the world. This report examines the impact that low vision and blindness – caused by paediatric eye diseases – has on government and private funding of a child’s medical care, education, disability support, lost income/productivity, informal care and quality of life.
Childhood blindness refers to a group of diseases and conditions that may result in blindness or severe vision impairment. If left untreated, childhood vision impairment generally continues into adulthood and working life, causing substantial impacts through a child’s life. It is estimated that at least half of all children with low vision and blindness also have motor, sensory, or learning impairments or chronic systemic disorders which further impact a child in life.
This report examines the impact that low vision and blindness – caused by paediatric eye diseases – has on government and private funding of a child’s medical care, education, disability support, lost income/productivity, informal care and quality of life.
The report estimates that:
- Almost a third of a million (332,936) Australian children with vision impairment or the potential to become visually impaired in Australia in 2015
- Total health costs to treat children with diseases of the eye and adnexa are an estimated $439 million in 2015, or 11.3% of the total health system expenditure on eye conditions in 2015
- Including health expenditure, lost productivity, and other financial costs, the estimated economic impact of vision impairment in children is $624 million per year, or $1,845 per child.
This report was prepared by Deloitte Access Economics Pty Ltd in collaboration with Associate Professor John Grigg and Associate Professor Robyn Jamieson from the Save Sight Institute at The University of Sydney.
The economic cost
Assessing the proposed policy