The total economic cost of VI and blindness in the ROI was estimated to be €2.14 billion in 2010 among the 224,832 people with mild VI, moderate VI or blindness (as reported in Table 2.5, Table 2.10 and Table 2.11). The total cost of VI and blindness is projected to rise to nearly €2.67 billion by 2020.
The total cost of VI and blindness is comprised of:
- Direct health care costs;
- Indirect costs; and
- The economic value of the disease burden (DALYs).
It is important to distinguish between the direct and indirect costs, which are actual financial costs, and the burden of disease, which is a valuation of the total DALYs using euros as the unit of measurement. The total financial cost of VI and blindness is projected to increase from €386.1 million in 2010 to €449.0 million in 2020. Direct health care costs comprise approximately 30% of the total financial cost in each year.
The economic value of the disease burden (DALYs) is projected to increase from nearly €1.76 billion in 2010 to nearly €2.22 billion in 2020. As stated above, these figures are not actual financial costs to the economy, but the value of the DALYs measured in euros. The financial cost of VI is correctly interpreted as the sum of the direct and indirect costs only. This is particularly important considering that the value of the total DALY burden comprises 82% of the total economic costs.
The total costs of VI and blindness discussed above are presented by component in Table 6.1
|DIRECT HEALTH CARE COSTS|
|General ophthalmic services||€15,758,155||€17,197,627||€18,463,596|
|Total health care costs (a)||€116,754,169||€127,419,396||€136,799,122|
|Total indirect costs (b)||€269,340,241||€292,312,433||€312,202,505|
|TOTAL FINANCIAL COST (a)+(b)||€386,094,410||€419,731,829||€449,001,627|
|BURDEN OF DISEASE|
|Economic value (disability)||€1,708,826,867||€1,914,318,439||€2,154,584,789|
|Premature mortality DALYs||510||610||736|
|Economic value (mortality)||€48,331,023||€57,795,499||€69,780,546|
|Economic value of total DALYs ©||€1,757,157,890||€1,972,113,938||€2,224,365,335|
|TOTAL ECONOMIC COST (a)+(b)+(c)||€2,143,252,300||€2,391,845,767||€2,673,336,962|
Source: Deloitte Access Economics calculations.
As stated above, the burden of disease accounted for nearly 82% of the total economic cost of VI and blindness in 2010. The next largest component of the total cost was direct health care system costs (5.4%). The smallest share of total costs was attributed to productivity losses (2.6%). Informal care and DWL accounted for roughly equal shares of the total cost (close 5.0%). The distribution of costs in 2010 is visually presented in Chart 6.1 and is described above.
A similar breakdown excluding the economic valuation of the DALY burden is presented in Chart 6.2, which is described below. This shows that direct health care costs accounted for the largest share of total financial costs of VI and blindness (30%). Roughly equal shares are attributed to informal care and DWL (28% and 27%, respectively). Productivity losses accounted for the smallest share of total financial costs (15%).