Mar 18 2009 Posted: 00:00 GMT
Health economics will be the subject of a new intensive course at the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, NUI Galway, from 26-27 March. With total expenditure on health expected to be in the region of €15 billion in Ireland this year, the programme organisers say it is vital that resources are allocated in a way that ensures the best outcome for the patient or service user. The two-day 'Executive Education Programme in Health Economics' will concentrate on a range of analytical techniques that can be used to inform health care decision-makers about the costs and consequences of healthcare programmes. The programme will provide participants with an introduction to the value and techniques of the emerging discipline of Health Technology Assessment and its use in informing budgetary decisions and wider government policy. Health Technology Assessment is not limited to new equipment or drugs, but covers any method used to promote health, prevent and treat disease, and improve rehabilitation and quality of life. Through health technology assessment, decision makers can assess the desirability and effectiveness of investing in new therapies, drugs, equipment and health promotion activities. NUI Galway is the only university in Ireland with a dedicated Chair in Health Technology Assessment. The holder of the Chair, Professor Ciaran O'Neill, is one of the organisers of the programme and commented on its target audience: "This executive education programme will be of interest to people with responsibility for strategic decision making in both the public and private health care sectors. It will also be of interest to people wishing to pursue further study in health economics. We will make extensive use of real-world examples to illustrate concepts and techniques, and include a discussion on the interpretation, presentation and dissemination of results". The course will be delivered by staff from the Department of Economics at NUI Galway and by visiting Professor from the University of Maryland, Daniel Mullins. Professor Mullins is a health economist and head of the Pharmaceutical Health Services Research Department of the University of Maryland. His research focuses on pharmaeconomics, health outcomes research and equity in health. Professor Mullins's visit is supported by the Fulbright Commission under its Senior Specialist Programme. A new Masters in Health Economics will be offered by the Department of Economics at NUI Galway in September 2009 and participants in the Executive Education programme will be eligible to apply for this Masters. A small number of places are still available on the Executive Education programme. For more information please contact Professor Ciaran O'Neill at 091 492409 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.