Magazine article Public Finance

Premature Births 'Cost UK £939M a Year'

Magazine article Public Finance

Premature Births 'Cost UK £939M a Year'

Article excerpt

Premature births cost the UK economy an extra ?939m a year, according to a controversial study.

Researchers at the Oxford Centre for Health Economics calculated what the costs would be for all the pre-term babies born in 2006 over the first 18 years of their life. The figure is based on health care, education and the costs to parents of having time off work.

The report said that increased funding for research into ways to delay premature births could save £260m a year.

The baby charity Tommy's, which funded the research, said this was the first study to look at the total cost to the public purse.

Jane Brewin, Tommy's chief executive, added: 'Given that the UK rate of premature birth is rising, this mammoth cost is set to grow even larger.' She said better neonatal care had improved the likelihood of these babies surviving but there were still considerable difficulties. …

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