Costs and process of in-patient tuberculosis management at a central academic hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

Janson, J. ; Marais, F. ; Mehtar, S. ; Baltussen, R. M. P. M. (2012-09)

Publication of this article was funded by the Stellenbosch University Open Access Fund.

The original publication is available at


Setting: South Africa reports more cases of tuberculosis (TB) than any other country, but an up-to-date, precise estimate of the costs associated with diagnosing, treating and preventing TB at the in-patient level is not available. Objective: To determine the costs associated with TB management among in-patients and to study the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) at a central academic hospital in Cape Town. Design: Retrospective and partly prospective cost analysis of TB cases diagnosed between May 2008 and October 2009. Results: The average daily in-patient costs were US$238; the average length of stay was 9.7 days. Mean laboratory and medication costs per stay were respectively US$26.82 and US$8.68. PPE use per day cost US$0.99. The average total TB management costs were US$2373 per patient. PPE was not always properly used. Discussion: The costs of in-patient TB management are high compared to community-based treatment; the main reason for the high costs is the high number of in-patient days. An efficiency assessment is needed to reduce costs. Cost reduction per TB case prevented was approximately US$2373 per case. PPE use accounted for the lowest costs. Training is needed to improve PPE use.

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