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Health benefit of medical technologies outweigh cost

13 June, 2006

Benefits of advances in medical technology have been found to outweigh cost concerns, following a Productivity Commission assesment of improved health outcomes derived from the use of prostheses and medical technologies.

Medical Industry Association of Australia

The Productivity Commission's report: Impacts of Advances in Medical Technology in Ausralia, presents new evidence of the role of medical technology and prostheses in enabling the increased longevity, and wellbeing of Australians.

Welcoming the release of the Productivity Commission report, the CEO of the Medical Industry Association of Australia (MIAA), Brian Vale, endorsed findings of medical technology improving healh care outcomes in a cost effective manner.

Vale said: "The Productivity Commission lists examples of technology use prolonging lives. Cataract surgery  is highlighted as averaging a gain of 1.25 quality-adjusted life-years.

"Insulin pumps for diabetes patients are proven to prolong life by an average of five years through reduction of diabetes related complications. These two examples of health improvement, when added to many more examples, have been found to outweigh concerns," Vale said.

Vale endorsed Productivity Commission findings seeking improvement in Health Technology Assessment, saying the need for improved data collection and technology effectiveness assessment has long been advocated by the MIAA.

"The Commission found advances in technology have reduced per patient cost treatments by cutting the length of hospital stays, and generating offsetting cost savings in other areas of the health system," Vale said.

"These whole of health care savings are often ignored in public debate about medical technologies, as is the Commission's finding of increases, not actual per unit cost rises, as is often wrongly claimed by some."

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