Alistair Brightman

Blind workers cost Australia $2.07 billion

A REPORT to be released today shows one of the leading causes of blindness for working age Australians, which stems from diabetes, will cost Australia $2.07 billion this year and will have a major impact on workforce participation and productivity.

The report, Economic Impact of Diabetic Macular Oedema in Australia, from Deloitte Access Economics shows the impact of diabetic macular oedema will increase in coming years.

As the number of people living with diabetes is expected to reach 2.45 million people by 2030, the prevalence of DME is estimated to rise by 42% in the same timeframe.

Report author Lynne Pezzullo said out of the $2.07 billion cost for this year, a large portion, or $570 million, would be due to productivity losses.