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Social and Personal Costs of Arthritis and Rheumatic Diseases

An Exploratory Survey

image of Social and Personal Costs of Arthritis and Rheumatic Diseases

Musculoskeletal conditions are the most common cause of severe pain, physical disability and temporary absence from work amongst the advanced nations. They are estimated to consume up to 3% of gross domestic product in Western countries in an average year. Arthritis and rheumatic diseases are a large part of these conditions and they are thus a major burden on society's health and social care services. They are even more pronounced as sources of personal burdens and reduced participation in employment and society in general. Women are on the whole significantly more affected by rheumatic diseases than men. The present pilot report surveys these differing cost environments in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. The work was carried out for the Nordic Rheuma Council (NRR). The author, Stefán Ólafsson, is a professor of sociology at the University of Iceland.

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Direct Cost of Patients – Some Nordic Comparisons

In this chapter we present some indicators and explanations of user charges for medical services and for medicines. First we look at costs for consulting with a physician, in table VII.1. All the cost figures in the table are in EUROS (EUR), to ease the comparison. The figures refer to the charges prevailing on January 1st 2006 and rates of exchange around mid August 2007.

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