7 Million Work Days Lost in Ireland from Back Pain
“The Early Intervention Toolkit for dealing with musculoskeletal disease has proven its worth in 30 pilot programmes across the EU and is now ready to be rolled out in all Member States”.
This was stated by MEP Marian Harkin at the launch of an Early Intervention Toolkit in the European Parliament today, Tuesday November 21st.
The Toolkit based on the pioneering programme of the early intervention clinic located in Madrid at the Hospital Clinico San Carlos, focuses on early intervention in the most common disability - musculoskeletal (MSK) - most commonly work related back pain, she said.
This toolkit delivers better outcomes for patients in terms of healthcare costs and quality of life and results from many different centres across the EU show that temporary work disability was 39% lower for early intervention patients and permanent work disability was 50% lower. It also delivers better outcomes for healthcare budgets, for sickness and disability budgets, and for companies.
“What is needed to head off a rapidly evolving crisis, which sees a €300 billion cost to the EU each year in lost productivity and sick leave, is early medical intervention model which has already proven to be successful in the pilot projects”, Marian Harkin suggested.
“Modelling of the work done in the Madrid clinic indicated that 7
million work days were being lost in Ireland each year due to
disabilities such as back pain”, she stated.
“It was obvious that with Ireland’s increasing population, the prevalence of MSK in the workforce, with consequent financial health costs, that early intervention would improve quality of life and reduce health service costs”, she said. “Investment in early intervention has proven in studies that for every €1 of expenditure €11 was saved in reducing lost productivity and health care costs”, she said
“The costs of rolling out this model of preventative and curative healthcare are minimal in the context of benefits provided and financial benefits are seen as early as two years into the project. Ireland should not let this opportunity slip by. We should learn from best practice elsewhere in Europe and install this programme - it will be for everybody’s benefit”, Marian Harkin concluded.