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Monday / May 20.
HomeminewsSkipping Health Checks Costs Billions

Skipping Health Checks Costs Billions

Missed health checks and reduced access to routine health care for people living with type 2 diabetes could be costing the Australian health system around AU$2.3B per annum, or $3,564 per person per annum, according to modelling from Diabetes Australia.

An estimated 50% of Australians living with type 2 diabetes are not accessing a range of recommended diabetes health checks that help prevent and manage diabetes-related complications including checks for diabetes management, cholesterol, kidneys, feet, and eyes.

Missed health checks contribute to the increased prevalence of diabetes-related hospitalisations and complications. Annually this includes: 100,000 hospitalisations for eye complications; 710,000 admissions to hospital for dialysis; 256,000 admissions to hospital for other kidney related conditions; 19,000 diabetes-related emergency admissions; and 5,163 amputations.

This results in extra costs to the health system, with an increased prevalence of diabetes-related complications, many of which are preventable.

Describing diabetes as “complex”, Diabetes Australia Group CEO Justine Cain said, “one of the challenges with Australia’s healthcare system is that it has been orientated towards treating people when they are sick and unwell, rather than preventing issues before they develop”.

“For people with diabetes, this means we need to ensure people can easily access the routine health checks which can detect problems like vision loss early, when it is most treatable.”

KeepSight was developed to address this issue by sending people reminders when they are due for an eye check. Run by Diabetes Australia and now in its fourth year, the program’s goal is to ensure all Australians with diabetes receive regular eye checks.

KeepSight Program Director Taryn Black said as well as having a financial impact on the economy, missed eye health checks have a significant, but unnecessary, risk for the individual.

“We know that regular eye checks and early intervention can prevent more than 90% of vision loss for people with diabetes. Quite simply, regular checks save sight,” Ms Black said.

To find out more visit: keepsight.org.au.