Health Medical costs lead many to skip healthcare

Medical costs lead many to skip healthcare

Nearly half the Australians living with depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions have skipped medication or therapy because of cost.

So had more than 30 per cent of those with asthma and emphysema, 27 per cent of those with diabetes, 25 per cent with arthritis and 20 per cent of cancer patients.

A study by James Cook University and the NSW Bureau of Health Information analysed the results of an international health survey that interviewed a cross section of people from 11 countries, including 2,200 Australians.

Lead study researcher Emily Callander, a health economist from James Cook’s Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine, said the US was the only country studied that had more people skipping healthcare due to cost than Australians.

“And we know within Australia and internationally that people with chronic diseases are most likely to have lower incomes so we’re getting this compounding of disadvantage,” Dr Callander said.

Consumer health advocates say the findings highlight the need for reforms so that quality primary care for chronically ill people is available to all, regardless of their income.

Find out more about this story ­here. (Story credit: Sydney Morning Herald)