Consumer Product-Related Injury in Australia: Direct hospital and medical costs to government

Monash University Accident Research Centre - Report #83 - 1995

Authors: W. Watson and J. Ozanne-Smith

Full report in .pdf format [392KB]


This study was carried out on behalf of the Australia National Audit Office to determine an estimate of the direct treatment costs of consumer product-related injury to government in Australia.

Estimates include costs associated with hospitalisation, Emergency Department attendances, General Practitioner, specialist and allied health professional attendances and coronial services in so far as these can be ascertained from the available data. Costs associated with nursing home accommodation and pharmaceuticals were derived from a preliminary costing study currently being undertaken by the Australian Institute of Health & Welfare and the NH@C Health Economics Unit of the Centre for Health Program Evaluation.

The direct treatment of all non-intentional consumer product-"related" injury in Australia is estimated to cost at least $1,364.1 million annually while treatment for non-intentional consumer product-"caused" injury is estimated to cost at least $252.9 million.

It is estimated that the range within which total government outlays on the direct treatment of consumer product-caused injury might reasonably be expected to lie is between $194 and $238 million annually. The Commonwealth government bears most of this burden through its support of State hospital systems and Medicare. The report concludes that the high cost of medical and hospital treatment of consumer product-related injury indicates the need to undertake a program aimed at reducing the frequency and severity of such injury and makes several recommendations particularly in relation to data collection and the dissemination of information in the area of consumer product safety.

Sponsor: Australian National Audit Office