School of Public Health and Community Medicine

Image - health economics research consortium

Health Economics

Located in Sydney Australia, the School of Public Health and Community Medicine (SPHCM) has a large program of health economic research and teaching. This includes a Master of Public Health specialisation in health economic evaluation and a number of Master’s courses covering different subareas. Academics at the School are involved in health economic research across a range of topics in both a national and international context. There are also a number of research academics at other UNSW Schools and Centres who are members of the SPHCM Health Economic Consortium.
 
The growing pressure on health budgets has meant that those with health economics skills are increasingly being sought after by government, industry and the non-for-profit sector. Academics at the School supervise a number of PhD students in the area of health economics. Current PhD projects include the use of mathematical models to predict the health impact and cost of health programs. This type of research, assessing the value for money offered by health interventions, plays an important role in informing decision makers about which programs offer the biggest ‘bang for the buck’. 
 

The SPHCM health economic consortium brings together academics from across UNSW who are involved in health economic research and teaching. The members have experience in a range of areas including economic evaluation, health financing and health policy research.

Potential research (PhD or masters) students should contact the members listed below directly or email the group’s convenor Associate Professor Anthony Newall.

Members

School of Public health and Community Medicine

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Associate Professor Anthony Newall (Convenor)
Associate Professor

Anthony Newall is a Associate Professor in Health Economics at the SPHCM, UNSW Australia. He completed his Masters of Public Health (Hons) and PhD at the University of Sydney. His main research area is the economic evaluation of infectious disease prevention strategies, as well as statistical and epidemiological analyses to inform these models. He has over 40 publications on a range of vaccine preventable diseases, including the epidemiology and cost-effectiveness of prevention strategies for influenza (seasonal and pandemic), pneumococcal disease, rotavirus, and human papillomavirus.

See Research Profile

 

Image - Associate Professor Virginia Wiseman

 

Associate Professor Virginia Wiseman
Head of Health Economics and Financing for Developing Countries

Virginia Wiseman is Associate Professor in Health Economics at the SPHCM, UNSW Australia. She also has an appointment at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in the Department of Global Health and Development. She has over 20 years’ experience as a health economist and specialises in the evaluation of complex interventions and the measurement of equity in health care financing in developing countries. She currently leads projects in Cameroon, Nigeria, Cambodia, Timor Leste and Fiji funded through the Gates Foundation, UNICEF, Australian Government, Australian Research Council and the National Institute of Health (USA). Virginia is co-chief editor for Health Policy and Planning and jointly edited two leading in textbooks in health economics.

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Mr Kevin Forde
Senior Lecturer

Kevin Forde is a Senior Lecturer at SPHCM, UNSW Australia. He has lectured in health economics and healthcare financial management at the UNSW for more than 20 years. In addition to his academic career, he has been an analyst with a stockbroker, a fund manager with an insurance company, managing editor of Australian Practice Management – a monthly magazine for doctors about the business side of running a medical practice, and editor of the Company Director, the official magazine of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. His research interests include the impact of private health insurance on the demand for health services, the business aspects of running medical practices and the costs and benefits of accreditation.

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Dr Augustine Asante
Research Fellow

Augustine Asante is a Research Fellow at the SPHCM, UNSW Australia. He has over 10 years of experience researching in health economics and financing in low and middle income countries.  His main research interest is in health systems financing and equity and the efficient allocation of scarce health care resources. He is currently implementing health system financing projects aimed at strengthening equity in health financing in Cambodia, Fiji and Timor-Leste. He has in the past implemented research projects in Indonesia, Solomon Islands and Ghana. He consults for the World Bank on sustainability of health financing in Timor-Leste and Papua New Guinea. He has also worked as a consultant for other multilateral and bilateral agencies including WHO, DFAT and more recently on a USAID-funded Health Systems Strengthening Project in Rwanda.

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Dr James Wood
Senior Lecturer

Dr James Wood is a is a Senior Lecturer at the SPHCM, UNSW Australia. He undertook his PhD in mathematical physics at the University of Queensland. He is an applied mathematician working in public health with strong interests in assessing the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of public health interventions and in particular vaccines. He has over 40 published papers, primarily on epidemiology, modelling and cost-effectiveness of vaccine preventable diseases and collaborates closely with Dr Newall on integrated disease transmission and health economic models.

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Dr Pen Reyes
Post-Doctoral Fellow

Pen Reyes earned her PhD in Molecular Genetics at UNSW studying genetic diversity in molecular markers used in epidemiological studies of tuberculosis. Currently, she is studying methods for post-implementation cost-effectiveness analyses of health care programs, particularly those of childhood vaccinations in Australia.

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Visiting Fellows at the SPHCM

 
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Associate Professor Philippe Beutels
Scientific Director

Philippe Beutels is currently Associate Professor and scientific director of the Center for Health Economics Research and Modelling Infectious Diseases (CHERMID) of the Vaccine & Infectious Disease Institute at the University of Antwerp in Belgium. His main research interests are health economic evaluation, modeling infectious diseases and economics of infectious disease prevention and control. He is the Senior Visiting Fellow at the SPHCM, UNSW Australia.

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Other UNSW Centres and Schools

 
Image - A/Prof Georgina Chambers

Associate Professor Georgina Chambers
Director of the National Perinatal Epidemiology and Statistics Unit (NPESU)

Dr Chambers has 20 years experience in the Australian public and private healthcare sectors in health economics, public health research, medical science and health services management. Since joining the NPESU, Dr Chambers has built a significant research career and international reputation in perinatal health services research, policy analysis and health economics. Dr Chambers is the leading international expert on health economics & policy analysis of assisted reproductive technologies.

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Dr Marian Shanahan
Drug Policy Modelling Program (DPMP)

Marian Shanahan is a Senior Research Fellow at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW Australia. She completed her  Masters of Economics at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada  and her PhD at UNSW Australia.  Her current research area is in the application of health economic tools to the assessment of policies, interventions and treatments in the context of illicit drugs and alcohol.  This includes cost effectiveness, cost benefit, contingent valuation and discrete choice studies.   Additionally, she has evaluated a wide range of health services and has published widely.

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Dr Rebecca Reeve
Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Social Impact (CSI)

Rebecca Reeve is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Social Impact, UNSW Australia. Rebecca competed her Bachelor of Economics (Hons) and PhD at Macquarie University. Her main research area is on measuring and improving outcomes for vulnerable populations including Indigenous Australians, people with disability, people with drug and alcohol problems and vulnerable children. Her work has been published in peer reviewed journals, reports, The Conversation and the mainstream media.

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Potential research (PhD or masters) students should contact the consortium members directly or email the convenor Associate Professor Anthony Newall.

Economic evaluation and modelling for vaccine preventable diseases

We have a number of researchers involved in economic evaluation of infectious disease prevention strategies. Infectious disease models can be used to predict the impact of alternative control strategies and can be linked with economic models to estimate the cost-effectiveness of these programs. These analyses play a major role in immunisation funding decisions. We conduct research within Australia and internationally, working with external collaborators such as the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance and the World Health Organization.

Health economic and financing in developing countries

Policy-makers must have access to the best possible research and analysis to ensure their health investments save as many lives as possible. We are a group of health economists who work in partnership with other scientists and policy-makers to improve the way health care is delivered and financed in low and middle income countries. We work across the globe in a variety of contexts: in low-income countries (Cambodia, Kenya), middle-income countries (Fiji, Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia) and post-conflict (Timor-Leste) to build stronger health systems.

 

The School of Public Health and Community Medicine (SPHCM) offers a number of individual Master’s courses in the area of health economics, which can be undertaken by students enrolled in a degree at the School. Several of these health economic courses can also be undertaken as standalone courses by non-degree students as part of professional development.  

Specialisation in Health Economics

Students within the Masters of Public Health (MPH) and those undertaking a dual Masters with the Masters of Health Management can also graduate with a specialisation in Health Economic Evaluation as part of their MPH degree.

The specialisation provides students with knowledge and skills in the principles of the economic evaluation of healthcare programs. Health economic evaluation provides an important tool to help decision makers obtain value for money in healthcare spending choices.

The specialisation is aimed at public health students and professionals interested in learning the skills required to apply and/or understand health economic evaluations in their future careers and those wishing to begin the transition to a career in heath economics in the healthcare sector.

Courses in Health Economics