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Skin cancer has a large impact on our public hospitals but prevention programs continue to demonstrate strong economic credentials

Shih, Sophy T. F., Carter, Rob, Heward, Sue and Sinclair, Craig 2017, Skin cancer has a large impact on our public hospitals but prevention programs continue to demonstrate strong economic credentials, Australian and New Zealand journal of public health, vol. 41, no. 4, pp. 371-376, doi: 10.1111/1753-6405.12679.

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Title Skin cancer has a large impact on our public hospitals but prevention programs continue to demonstrate strong economic credentials
Author(s) Shih, Sophy T. F.ORCID iD for Shih, Sophy T. F. orcid.org/0000-0003-0049-2888
Carter, RobORCID iD for Carter, Rob orcid.org/0000-0002-1586-5619
Heward, Sue
Sinclair, Craig
Journal name Australian and New Zealand journal of public health
Volume number 41
Issue number 4
Start page 371
End page 376
Total pages 6
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Place of publication Chichester, Eng.
Publication date 2017-08
ISSN 1753-6405
Keyword(s) cost-effectiveness
economics
prevention
skin cancer
Summary Objectives: While skin cancer is still the most common cancer in Australia, important information gaps remain. This paper addresses two gaps: i) the cost impact on public hospitals; and ii) an up-to-date assessment of economic credentials for prevention.

Methods: A prevalence-based cost approach was undertaken in public hospitals in Victoria. Costs were estimated for inpatient admissions, using State service statistics, and outpatient services based on attendance at three hospitals in 2012–13. Cost-effectiveness for prevention was estimated from ‘observed vs expected’ analysis, together with program expenditure data.

Results: Combining inpatient and outpatient costs, total annual costs for Victoria were $48 million to $56 million. The SunSmart program is estimated to have prevented more than 43,000 skin cancers between 1988 and 2010, a net cost saving of $92 million. Skin cancer treatment in public hospitals ($9.20∼$10.39 per head/year) was 30-times current public funding in skin cancer prevention ($0.37 per head/year).

Conclusions: At about $50 million per year for hospitals in Victoria alone, the cost burden of a largely preventable disease is substantial. Skin cancer prevention remains highly cost-effective, yet underfunded.

Implications for public health:
Increased funding for skin cancer prevention must be kept high on the public health agenda. Hospitals would also benefit from being able to redirect resources to non-preventable conditions.
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/1753-6405.12679
Field of Research 1117 Public Health And Health Services
1402 Applied Economics
1605 Policy And Administration
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2017, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No-Derivatives licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30098597

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.