Date Published: 21 April 2009

Developing health economics capacity in Ireland

Health News from Ireland (Eire)

Health care is something we will all need at some point during our lives and total expenditure on health care in Ireland amounts to about seven per cent of GDP. So it is not surprising that the effective use and application of healthcare resources is near the top of most government agendas.

According to Enda Connolly, Chief Executive at the HRB;

"Recent economic developments reinforce more than ever the importance of understanding the costs, financial or otherwise, of health interventions or preventative measures. Health economists can provide decision-makers with the solid evidence on which they can make informed decisions on the value of patient care models and systems.

The HRB are committed to building capacity in health economics in Ireland. Today, we are announcing two new health economics fellowships. This brings to four the number of health economists the HRB has funded to train in these highly specialised and valuable skills. It is a small yet important step that will help contribute to the development of a critical mass of health economists in the Irish health care system."

The successful fellows, Elisabeth Moore and Diarmuid Coughlan, came out top of a very competitive peer review process. In the course of their training they will apply health economic analysis to aspects of cancer control policy formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation which is an area of priority for governments in both Ireland and Northern Ireland. The total value of the fellowships is €515,000 over three years.

A significant part of their training will be to get a strong grounding in the Irish health care system and to work with other HRB funded health services researchers. They will also spend time in America learning from health economics experts and will then return to Ireland to apply their knowledge in a local setting.

 

Source: Health Research Board (HRB), Ireland.

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