AIHW data shows diabetes costs the health system almost $2.5B per annum 5 April 2022 New data released today from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has found that the Australian health system spends almost $2.5 billion a year on all types of diabetes, even before closely linked conditions like kidney and heart disease and stroke are included. Diabetes Australia Group CEO Justine Cain said the figures highlighted the importance of investing early and focusing on preventing type 2 diabetes and reducing people’s risk of diabetes complications like kidney and heart disease. “The Australian health system spends $2.5 billion per annum directly on diabetes,” Ms Cain said. “On top of this diabetes is a leading cause of heart disease, which costs the health system more than $2 billion per annum, chronic kidney disease which costs $1.7 billion and stroke which costs $660 million. “These four conditions combined cost the Australian healthcare system $6.86 billion every single year. “With gross national debt forecast to go past one trillion dollars in the coming years it is clear we need smart spending and smart policy to get better outcomes and reduce the strain on our health system. “This means investing early in preventing type 2 diabetes and preventing complications from all types of diabetes. “This Federal Election we are asking all sides of politics to commit to a number of priority actions including improving access to diabetes technology, better early detection of all types of diabetes, preventing diabetes-related complications and reducing the impact of diabetes in First Nations communities which would deliver huge savings for the Australia economy. “In many cases it is about taking existing elements of the health system and building on them or tweaking them. “Take chronic kidney disease for instance, there are excellent treatments available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme that can prevent or manage kidney disease and help people avoid costly and debilitating complications like dialysis. “These treatments work best when kidney disease is detected early but only around a quarter of all people with kidney disease get checked within recommended time frames. “The reasons for this are complex but Diabetes Australia is confident that a $1.6 million Diabetes Kidney Disease Screening Program would boost screening rates and dramatically reduce chronic kidney disease. “This is an example of targeted, cost-effective policy that would deliver real, long-term savings and improve health outcomes for hundreds of thousands of Australians.” You can read Diabetes Australia’s full 2022 election platform here.