Overview

The Health Economics and Policy Analysis Centre (HEPAC) is located in the Institute for the Lifecourse and Society (ILAS) at NUI Galway. The Centre is part of the research network at the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway, which includes the Whitaker Institute for Innovation and Societal Change. The Centre  has  links with research networks at the School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, and the School of Nursing and Midwifery at NUI Galway.  

Aim

The aim of the Health Economics and Policy Analysis Centre (HEPAC) is to develop, apply and teach methods for the economic analysis of health and health care. 

Research

The research focus of the Health Economics and Policy Analysis Centre (HEPAC) is directed by the following four objectives:

  • A key objective for HEPAC is to conduct research that informs policy and practice through the generation of evidence on cost effectiveness for health and social care interventions that target individuals, their families and friends across the life course. Such evidence is generated from the conduct of economic evaluation and is relevant for informing resource allocation decision-making by policy makers and practitioners in health and social care systems.
  • A key objective for HEPAC is to conduct research to inform policy and practice through the generation of evidence on health outcomes for individuals, their families and friends across the life course. The generation of such evidence through the conduct of preference-based methodologies is relevant in the context of the need to appropriately identify, measure and value of the impact of illness, intervention, or policy on the health and wellbeing of individuals, families and friends, and/or society. 
  • A key objective for HEPAC is to conduct research to inform policy and practice through the generation of evidence on drivers of health, health behaviour, healthcare utilisation, social and economic outcomes for individuals, their families and friends across the life course. Such evidence is generated through econometric methods and is relevant in the context of the need to identify the factors that impact upon these outcomes, the nature of such impacts, and the implications for health system equity and/or efficiency.
  • A key objective for HEPAC is to conduct research to inform policy and practice through the generation of evidence for the holistic analysis of illness, intervention, or policy that targets individuals, their families and friends across the life course. This evidence is generated from qualitative and/or quantitative methods and considers issues such as feasibility, acceptability, outcomes, budget impact and cost.  This is relevant for informing decision-making by policy makers and practitioners in health and social care systems.

These methods are currently being applied to explore a range of research questions in relation to ageing, dementia, disability, mental health, chronic disease, cancer, and obesity. While the research is mainly of an applied nature with an emphasis on peer-reviewed academic output, members of HEPAC also engage and contribute to policy formulation in a range of areas at national and international level. HEPAC have extensive links with clinical and social science researchers at NUI Galway, as well as being engaged in active collaborations with colleagues in national and international organisations. Current research projects include those funded by agencies such as the Health Research Board, Science Foundation Ireland, Atlantic Philanthropies, and industry partners.

Education

In conjunction with the School of Business and Economics, the Health Economics and Policy Analysis Centre (HEPAC) teach an array of modules in Health Economics for a range of undergraduate, postgraduate and executive education programmes. At postgraduate level, the Discipline of Economcis offers a full and part time Masters programme in Health Economics and a structured PhD programme, which currently includes eight Health Economics PhD candidates. HEPAC also offer bespoke executive education programmes in Economic Evaluation, Health Technology Assessment and Applied Health Econometrics.