Irish Health Economists to meet at NUI Galway

Monday, 2 February 2009

The current pressure on public health resources and the related cost of health conditions will be discussed during a symposium at NUI Galway on Thursday, 5 February. The event is being organised by the Health Economics Association of Ireland, which was set up in 2001 to foster the sharing of information related to health economics. The symposium will welcome an audience from a wide variety of backgrounds, all with a particular interest in the economics of healthcare. Topics for discussion include economics of mental health, palliative care and heart disease. Professor of Health Technology Assessment (HTA) at NUI Galway, Ciaran O'Neill, will introduce the symposium with thoughts on the future of HTA in Ireland. Professor O'Neill comments: "As health and social care budgets come under increasing pressure, the need to assess and demonstrate the relative value for money of its alternative uses will become increasingly important. Ireland has followed most other European countries in developing processes by which to scrutinise the use of public monies in funding access to new technologies. Over the coming years these processes and their outcomes are likely to become increasingly influential in shaping health and social care in Ireland". Members of the Health Economics Association of Ireland come from public and private organisations as well as academic institutions. The group meets twice yearly to discuss developments in health economics including economic evaluations, monitoring techniques, policy initiatives, pharmacoeconomics and various other topics. Organiser of the symposium, Dr Brenda Gannon of the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology at NUI Galway says: "The number of health economists in Ireland has increased in recent years both in the academic and private sector. Experts such as Professor Eamon O'Shea, Director of the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology here at NUI Galway, have been leading the way in this field for many years. Hosting this meeting at NUI Galway reflects the growing number of health economists working in the University and the recognition of their expertise at national level". For further information on the next HEAI meeting, please contact Dr Brenda Gannon, NUI Galway, on tel 091 49 5459.
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