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N Z Med J. 2012 Nov 9;125(1365):16-20.

A national estimate of the hospitalisation costs for the influenza (H1N1) pandemic in 2009.

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Department of Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington, Box 7343, Wellington South, New Zealand.



To estimate the hospitalisation costs borne by the New Zealand Government for the influenza pandemic in 2009 (with uncertainty).


Data were derived from national and local New Zealand studies, and from a combined Australia and New Zealand study on intensive care unit (ICU) use and costs. Probabilistic sensitivity analysis was performed (2000 iterations).


We estimated the total mean cost to the hospital sector in New Zealand of NZ$30.5 million (95% uncertainty interval (UI): 22.3 to 39.5 million) [US$14.8 to 26.3 million]. The mean cost per capita was NZ$7.01. In an additional cost-effectiveness analysis (using a hypothetical counterfactual relating to no hospital care), the results were suggestive that hospital care was likely to be a relatively cost-effective means of preventing death from pandemic influenza.


These high hospitalisation costs for a relatively non-severe pandemic indicate the potential value of preventive measures (e.g., vaccination) and of investing in pandemic planning and other control measures to reduce person-to-person spread.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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