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

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IUATLD -- International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease
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.
Publication of this article was funded by the Stellenbosch University Open Access Fund.
The original publication is available at
Tuberculosis -- Treatment -- South Africa -- Cape Town -- Costs, Medical care, Cost of -- South Africa -- Cape Town, Hospital care -- South Africa -- Cape Town -- Costs
Janson, J., Marais, F., Mehtar, S. & Baltussen, R.M.P.M. 2012. Costs and process of inpatient-tuberculosis management at a central academic hospital in Cape Town, South Africa. Public Health Action, 2(3):61-65, doi:10.5588/pha.12.0003.