Economics, Medicine, and Healthcare

Apr 6, 2023

There are many health services that can be provided, but only finite resources with which to provide them. Inevitably, choices must be made. How do we decide?

Economics is the science of making choices. Health economics provides a framework for informing decisions based on maximizing outcomes from available resources. Understanding what an economic evaluation is, how to interpret it, and what it means for making choices in a health system is necessary to make and influence decisions about health resource allocation.

For a practicing clinician, economic evaluation studies may seem complex…

This week, the OMI was excited to host a seminar in Economic Evaluation in Healthcare which provided OMI alumni with valuable insights in the field of economic evaluation and its application to health technology assessment and decision making.

Silvia Evers, Professor of Public Health Technology Assessment and Scientific Director of the Care and Public Health Research Institute at Maastricht University, led the course. Milena Pavlova, Professor of Health Economics and Equity at Maastricht University, served as co-course director.

Nine public health professionals shared their knowledge and expertise with 33 fellows from 24 different countries and a broad variety of medical backgrounds.

Each day focused on a specific theme:

  • Introduction to Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Methods
  • Measuring Costs and Outcomes in HTA
  • Pricing, Reimbursement, and HTA
  • Applications of HTA
  • EU Policy and Practice of HTA

The main goal of the course was to develop a simplified proposal for an economic evaluation study of a specific health technology and setting. Health professionals confronted with an economic evaluation need to make choices regarding the study design and framework, and the assignment demonstrated how this task can be approached. The application of the content taught during the lectures was at the core of the assignment. Fellows had the possibility to consult lecturers during the proposal preparation phase. On Thursday afternoon, the groups reported their outcomes and received valuable feedback from the lecturers and their colleagues.

Faculty Members:

  • Kostas Athanasakis, PhD (University of West Attica, Greece)
  • Lorena Dini, MD, MScIH, HCM, PhD (Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany)
  • Bosiljka Djikanovic, MD, MSc, PhD (University of Belgrade, Serbia)
  • Silvia Evers, PhD, LLM (Maastricht University, The Netherlands)
  • Rositsa Koleva-Kolarova, PhD (University of Oxford, United Kingdom)
  • Céu Mateus, PhD (Lancaster University, United Kingdom)
  • Enkeleint Aggelos Mechili, MSc, PhD (University of Vlora, Albania)
  • Milena Pavlova, PhD (Maastricht University, The Netherlands)
  • Elena Petelos, MBBS(I), BSc(Hons), PhD, FRSPH (University of Crete, Greece)

Source: Abbott, J. Haxby & Wilson, Ross & Pryymachenko, Yana & Sharma, Saurab & Pathak, Anupa & Chua, Jason. (2022). Economic evaluation: a reader’s guide to studies of cost-effectiveness. Archives of Physiotherapy. 12. 28. 10.1186/s40945-022-00154-1.