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New research led by health economist Dr Emily Callander shows one in four chronically ill Australians is skipping healthcare because of high costs, providing clear data for government policy regarding out-of-pocket costs. The study indicated that more than 40 per cent of people with depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions skipped healthcare treatment because of the cost.

The study also found that more than one-third of people with asthma, emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) could not afford the treatment they needed. This study is the first time comparisons had been made to estimate the relative amount of out-of-pocket expenditure between people with certain health conditions and people without a health condition, and how this affects access to care.