Improving Inflammatory Bowel Disease Care Across Australia

In March 2013, the PricewaterhouseCoopers Australia (PwC) report entitled Improving Inflammatory Bowel Disease Care Across Australia., was released.

Commissioned by CCA the report presented an overview of IBD incidence statistics in Australia, investigated the key problems with IBD care models and resources, outlined the potential benefits of addressing key issues, assessed a range of possible interventions in responding to current IBD care problems, and recommended a coordinated approach to creating consistent and evidence-based programs and resources for IBD.

The report was sponsored by Shire and AbbVie, and supported by the PwC Foundation.

Key findings

In Australia, IBD is becoming more prevalent, more complex, and more severe. It affects approximately 1 in 250 people aged 5-40. Almost 75,000 Australians have Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, with this number projected to increase to 100,000 by 2022.
Healthcare utilisation and costs are increasing. Direct costs resulting from hospitalisation are also increasing, with a significant cost burden related to healthcare utilisation.
Care is inconsistent and inadequate. The predominant model of treating only acute IBD flares is at odds with the need for long-term management.
The benefits of improving IBD care cannot be ignored. Clinics and hospitals that have formalised and coordinated IBD care models have yielded significant benefits to patients, and therefore need to be extended to other healthcare institutions.
There is more work to be done. There is a gap in data and knowledge on patient pathways and outcomes, service coordination, and resources.


The study recommends that a national partnership be formed to conduct an audit of IBD care programs and service resources. It also recommends that CCA seek funding of approximately $1million over two years to develop nationally consistent responses for improved IBD care.