October 24th, 2014
The cost of MND is twice as high as the cost of colon cancer, and higher than the cost of stroke
The health economic cost of MND is twice as high as the cost of colon cancer, and higher than the cost of stroke. Yet people with MND don’t automatically qualify for a medical card.
A study performed by the Irish ALS/MND Research Group, recently published in the international journal ALS and the Frontotemporal Neurodegenerations, has shown that the estimated cost of MND in Ireland is in the order of €58,000- almost 3 times higher than stroke (€18,000) and 50% higher than the cost of colon cancer (€39,000)
From time of diagnosis to the end stage of disease, the median monthly cost is €1,795 – this is required to access specialist community based care, hospital services and aids and appliances.
The study was performed by Dr.Sheelah Connolly, a Health Research Board funded health economist working with the ALS/MND team in Trinity College Dublin led by Professor Hardiman and Professor Charles Normand.
The clinical experience of over 120 people with MND was reviewed, and the costs of all of the services that they received were calculated. The cost of loss of income and informal care provided by spouse or family was not included in the analysis, which focussed only on professional health related services received by patients.
Professor Hardiman said: “Given the recent discussion about the need to provide medical cards based on need, this study provides compelling evidence that people with MND should have immediate access to the discretionary medial card programme upon diagnosis of MND, as the cost of the disease within the private sector would be prohibitive for the vast majority of Irish people.
While the costs of aids and appliances, which are also significant, are frequently absorbed by the IMNDA, the overall health economic impact of having MND is higher than both cancer and stroke. This must be taken into account when people with MND apply for medical cards”.
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