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Health Soc Care Community. 2019 Mar;27(2):493-501. doi: 10.1111/hsc.12670. Epub 2018 Oct 30.

Economic costs of informal care for people with chronic diseases in the community: Lost income, extra welfare payments, and reduced taxes in Australia in 2015-2030.

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Department of Economics, Faculty of Business and Economics, GenIMPACT, Centre for Economic Impacts of Genomic Medicine, Macquarie University, NSW, Australia.
The Boden Institute of Obesity, Nutrition, Exercise & Eating Disorders, Charles Perkins Centre, The University of Sydney, Camperdown, NSW, Australia.
Co-Director, Sydney Health Economics, Sydney Local Health District.
National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling, University of Canberra, Canberra, ACT, Australia.
School of Medicine, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Qld, Australia.
The University of Sydney, University Centre for Rural Health, Lismore, NSW, Australia.


We estimated the economic costs of informal care in the community from 2015 to 2030, using an Australian microsimulation model, Care&WorkMOD. The model was based on data from three Surveys of Disability, Ageing, and Carers (SDACs) for the Australian population aged 15-64 years old. Estimated national income lost was AU$3.58 billion in 2015, increasing to $5.33 billion in 2030 (49% increase). Lost tax payments were estimated at AU$0.99 billion in 2015, increasing to AU$1.44 billion in 2030 (45% increase), and additional welfare payments were expected to rise from $1.45 billion in 2015 to AU$1.94 in 2030 (34% increase). There are substantial economic costs both to informal carers and the government due to carers being out of the labour-force to provide informal care for people with chronic diseases. Health and social policies supporting carers to remain in the labour force may allow governments to make substantial savings, while improving the economic situation of carers.


chronic illness; economic costs; health economics; informal carers; lost workforce; productive life years


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