Arthritis patients not treated quickly enough

Billions of dollars could be saved if arthritis patients received earlier and better treatment, says an expert report released this week.

The “Time to Move” white paper estimates the cost of early retirement due to arthritis as $9.4 billion in lost GDP, with an additional $5 billion a year in health and welfare expenditure.

Authored by a panel of specialists, GPs, health groups and commisioned  by Arthritis Australia, the report says a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis “needs to be treated as an emergency” as permanent joint damage