Australia – as the saying goes – is a ‘lucky country’. Our standard of living, our climate, and our health care and social security systems all stand up well to international comparisons. But there is a downside, in the false sense of security that Australians live with in terms of their health, and their capacity to cope financially, in the event of ill health.
In 2016/17 there were over 777,000 hospitalisations due to injury or poisoning. This year alone there will be over 130,000 new diagnoses of cancer.
Over 600,000 Australians are living with coronary artery disease, 2 million with kidney disease, and nearly half the population will experience mental health challenges during their life time.
Whilst advances in medicine and treatment techniques are improving the survival rates across most conditions, there is a cost burden. This cost burden – estimated at $30 billion and upwards each year - falls on all of us, as tax payers and as individuals. And as good as our safety nets are, the out of pocket (OOP) cost impact to those affected by ill health can be crippling.
Depending on the condition, direct costs can range from hundreds to many thousands of dollars each year. Often these are compounded by the indirect costs – such as foregone income – impacting the sufferers and their carers.
The cost of care whitepaper is an industry first, bringing together detailed research across the broad spectrum of injury and disease. The research is designed to help financial advisers better understand the underlying costs that may be incurred and the prevalence of various common illnesses and conditions in Australia today including: