Deakin University

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Obesity and Bariatric Surgery in Australia: Future Projection of Supply and Demand, and Costs

journal contribution
posted on 2022-10-04, 01:42 authored by S W A Dona, M R Angeles, Dieu NguyenDieu Nguyen, Lan GaoLan Gao, M Hensher
Introduction: The prevalence of obesity is increasing in developed countries, including Australia. There is evidence that bariatric surgery is effective in losing weight and reducing risk of chronic diseases. However, access to bariatric surgery remains limited in the public health sector. Method: We modelled population-based estimates of the likely numbers of people eligible for bariatric surgery in Australia using the recent Australian New Zealand Metabolic and Obesity Surgery Society (ANZMOSS) framework and estimated the potential costs that would be incurred from primary and subsequent reoperations in both public and private sector. Results: The annual number of newly eligible patients is expected to rise, and hence the gap in demand is increasing relative to current baseline supply. If a 5-year program to treat all currently eligible patients was implemented, the maximum yearly demand is projected to be 341,343 primary surgeries, more than eight times the existing capacity of public and private sector, which can only offer 41,534 surgeries/year. A nine-fold increase is expected if we treat currently eligible patients over a 5-year program and all newly eligible patients as they occur each year. Conclusion: Our results highlighted the currently highly skewed distribution of bariatric surgeries between the private and public sectors. Improving access would bring substantial benefits to many Australians, given the demonstrated cost-effectiveness and cost savings. This requires a major increase in resourcing for publicly-funded access to bariatric surgery in the first instance. A national review of priorities and resourcing for all modes of obesity treatment is required in Australia. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]



Obesity Surgery





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