Direct costs of blindness in Australia

Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2000 Jun;28(3):140-2. doi: 10.1046/j.1442-9071.2000.00296.x.


This study calculated the direct financial costs of blindness to the Australian government and community. Three case studies, representative of Australians with severely impaired vision, were used to calculate the annual costs associated with blindness. The costs include pensions, subsidies, concessions, equipment and services. Case I was a retired person with age-related macular degeneration, case 2 a working aged person with diabetic retinopathy, and case 3 a school student with congenital vision impairment. Sensitivity analysis was used to show the possible range of costs for each case. For case I, direct cost was $ 14686 with a range from $9749 to $22507. The cost for case 2 was $17701 ranging from $9669 to $26720. Costs associated with care and education of case 3 were $15948 ranging from $5106 to $23798. In addition to the social costs to a person who is blind, there are significant financial costs to the government and the community that will increase substantially with the ageing of the Australian population.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Australia
  • Blindness / economics*
  • Blindness / etiology
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Direct Service Costs*
  • Eye Diseases / complications
  • Eye Diseases / economics
  • Female
  • Health Care Costs
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • State Medicine / statistics & numerical data
  • Visual Acuity