COVID-19 costing the Australian economy billions

COVID-19 is costing the Australian economy billions in lost worker productivity and healthcare spending.

The pandemic may be moving into the endemic phase but the virus is still wreaking havoc on the health of the population and the economy.

Research commissioned by pharmaceutical company MSD Australia has tallied the future economic cost of the virus and found it could land anywhere between $17 billion and $56 billion each year.

The top end of the range amounts to roughly 2.2 per cent of GDP but would only come to pass if transmission rates and severity levels pick up.

Under the base case modelled by the company, $25 billion in total economic costs are expected each year, with around 90 per cent of those productivity losses.

This includes missed days by workers as well as parents caring for sick children or the elderly.

The remaining 10 per cent is borne by the health system

Long COVID is also taking a toll, with Australia tracking towards a situation where 46 days are lost to each person diagnosed with the condition.

Royal Australasian College of General Practitioners Victoria chair Anita Munoz said the virus was still a concern for general practitioners.

‚ÄúI feel it‚Äôs important for GPs to have an awareness of the broader impacts of COVID, as they remain at the frontline of caring for Australians with COVID,‚ÄĚ she said.

 

Poppy Johnston
(Australian Associated Press)

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