Thursday, March 8, 2007

Do you know today is World Kidney Day?

The Economic Cost of Kidney Disease in Australia is raising at the rate of $1 million a week.

The cost of treating kidney disease in Australia is rising by $50 million a year and will jump from $700 million in 2006 to $900 million in 2010, according to the first ever report on The Economic Impact of Kidney Disease in Australia released today.

Commissioned by Kidney Health Australia and carried out by the George Institute of International Health, the report being released this morning outlines major holes in the current health policies and highlights ways the government can save hundreds of millions of dollars in the next decade through new initiatives.

Anne Wilson CEO of Kidney Health Australia said, "The detailed and comprehensive report identifies clearly that the Federal Government can save hundreds of millions of dollars in the future by extending home dialysis and transplantation."

The key findings of the report are:
  • Over the last 25 years, while the Australian population has grown less than 40%, the number of Australians being treated with dialysis or a kidney transplant has grown more than 400%.
  • In 2010, the number of Australians commencing renal replacement therapy (RRT) will increase between 19% and 47% above the current incidence of RRT.
  • This equates to an additional 850 patients commencing RRT each year.
  • In 2010, the number of Indigenous Australians commencing RRT will increase between 19% and 84% above the current incidence of RRT.
  • Conservative estimates indicate that the total health sector cost for providing RRT services to 2010 will be between $4.26 and $4.52 billion.
  • Approximately 60,000 life years (and 30,000 quality- adjusted life years) would be gained by providing RRT for all cases of end-stage kidney disease (ESKD).
  • Increasing the number of kidney transplants by 10% to 50% would save $5.8 million to $25.9 million.
  • Increasing the rate of home haemodialysis to an optimal level would produce a saving of $88.2 million.
  • Increasing the rate of PD to an optimal level would produce a saving of $135.4 million.

Ms Wilson said, "despite the significant burden of disease there is no national strategic plan addressing Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) issues and planning for the projected growth in incidence and prevalence of CKD.

There are also no systematic national programs (government or non-government) in place addressing ways of bridging the gaps that exist in the delivery of the advances in clinical care that have occurred in the last decade."

Please, spend a little time thinking about World Kidney Day today, the 8th March 2007. Take care and remember, looking after your kidneys will keep you healthy and extend your normal life span. The contact information below is for your information.

Sue Bayliss. Cairns, Australia.

Kidney Health Australia, 344 St Kilda Road Melbourne.

Media Enquiries: Anne Wilson CEO Kidney Health Australia. Mobile: 0400 165 391

Dr Tim Mathew, Medical Director of Kidney Health Australia Mobile: 0416 149 863

Ron Smith Corporate Media Communications. (03) 9818 5700 Mobile: 0417 329 201.

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