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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


GARCIA GOMEZ, Montserrat et al. Medical costs of cancer attributable to work in the Basque Country (Spain) in 2008. Gac Sanit [online]. 2013, vol.27, n.4, pp.310-317. ISSN 0213-9111.

Objetives: Underreporting of work-related cancer in the Basque Country (Spain) is massive. The aim of our study is to estimate the job-related cancer in the Basque Country in 2008 treated by the Basque Public Health System-Osakidetza, as well as the medical costs derived from its treatment in the same year. Methods: Scientific evidence from industrialised countries is used to estimate the number of processes of cancer attributable to work. Medical costs for specialised care (outpatient and hospital admissions) are derived from the National Health System cost accounts. Costs due to primary health care and pharmaceutical benefits are obtained from Spanish secondary sources. Figures were computed according to disease and sex. Results: We estimate 1,331 work-attributable cancers hospitalizations and 229 work-attributable cancers specialized ambulatory cases. Medical costs borne by public health care system exceed 10 million euros. Specialized care accounts for 64.2% of the total cost. Bronchus and lung cancer represents the largest percentage of total expenditure (27%), followed by the bladder cancer (12.6%), mesothelioma (8.6%), the colon cancer (7.3%), and stomach (6.7%). Conclusions: The magnitude of cancer attributable to work in the Basque Country is much higher than reflected in the official Registry of Occupational Diseases. Underreporting of work-related cancers hampers prevention and shifts funding of medical costs from social security to the tax-financed public health system.

Keywords : Occupational cancer; Attributable risk; Cost of illness; Medical costs; Direct costs; Occupational diseases.

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