Spending on chronic kidney disease increases 33% in four years

Spending on chronic kidney disease rose by over a third between 2000-01 and 2004-05 and is expected to continue to rise, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

Chronic kidney disease, or CKD, is a common and serious problem in Australia and its management can be resource intensive.

The report, Health care expenditure on chronic kidney disease 2004-05, shows that almost $900 million was spent on chronic kidney disease in 2004-05.

'The 33% rise outstripped the 19% rise in total health care expenditure over the same period,' said Ms Frances Green of the AIHW's Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes and Kidney Unit.

People with CKD's most severe form, end-stage kidney disease, usually require dialysis or a kidney transplant to survive.

'Regular dialysis-usually three times a week-is the most common reason for hospitalisation in Australia, accounting for more than 10% of all admissions,' Ms Green said.

'And the number of dialysis patients is increasing each year. In 2000 there were around 6,400 people receiving dialysis but by 2007 there were nearly 10,000,' she said.

Around $760 million (almost 85% of total CKD expenditure) was due to dialysis and transplants, with dialysis alone accounting for more than $593 million.

Health care expenditure on chronic kidney disease 2004-05 is the first report of its kind on chronic kidney disease spending in Australia.

Thursday 3 September 2009

Further information: Frances Green, AIHW, tel. 02 6244 1172, mob 0407 915 851

For media copies of the report: Publications Officer, AIHW, tel. (02) 6244 1032.