Report shows economic value in stroke prevention

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A new report, The economic impact of stroke in Australia 2020, reveals that thousands of lives and billions of dollars could be saved annually through stroke prevention and better access to treatment and care.

According to the report, the economic impact of stroke is $6.2 billion dollars in direct financial costs and a further $26 billion in premature mortality and lost wellbeing.

Stroke Foundation Advisory Committee Chair, Professor Amanda Thrift says that the report “demonstrates the magnitude of stroke’s impact”.

Professor Thrift adds that the report also reveals the “opportunities and value in investing to help Australians avoid, survive and recover from stroke”.

“Stroke has long been recognised as being among the costliest disease groups and, while it is not the death sentence it once was for many, stroke is a leading cause of disability in this country,” says Professor Thrift.

“Achieving the benchmarks referenced in the report could mean thousands of Australians avoiding stroke, surviving and living well after stroke equating to savings of $179 million over five years in economic costs and $2.4 billion in reduced mortality and improved wellbeing annually.”

Stroke prevention and survival are important, particularly as the report also details, according to Professor Thrift, concerning evidence that more Australians of working age are experiencing stroke and there continues to be an over-representation of stroke in regional and rural Australia.

“The National Strategic Action Plan for Heart Disease and Stroke provides a roadmap of evidence-based interventions to address stroke, many of which have been modelled in this report,” adds Stroke Foundation CEO, Sharon McGowan.

“We have an opportunity to act now to change the course of this disease for generations to come.

“I look forward to working with governments to implement the Action Plan. It is an investment we can, and must, make for the health and wellbeing for our community.”

About the report

The Stroke Foundation commissioned Deloitte Access Economics to deliver The economic impact of stroke in Australia 2020 report, coupled with an update of Stroke Foundation’s No Postcode Untouched, Stroke in Australia 2020 report quantifying the impact of stroke.

The economic impact of stroke in Australia 2020 uses financial modelling to estimate the economic impact of stroke, looking at direct health system costs as well as the broader impact of short and long-term disability on the community.

The report also modelled the savings that could be made by acting to reduce uncontrolled high blood pressure in the community and provide greater access to emergency stroke treatments.

The No Postcode Untouched, Stroke in Australia 2020 report maps stroke incidence, prevalence and risk factors by federal electorate division.

Data contained in the reports has been delivered independent of the Covid-19 pandemic – however, there is potential Covid-19 will affect its results.

Evidence is emerging people have delayed trips to their doctor for health checks and chronic disease management since the pandemic began in January 2020. Emergency calls to triple zero (000) and continuity of care have also been disrupted.

For more on The economic impact of stroke in Australia 2020 report and the No Postcode Untouched, Stroke in Australia 2020 report, including information on stroke’s impact in your federal electorate division, visit: strokefoundation.org.au