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2009

December 2009

ACERH @ PHAA conference

Dr Julie Smith will give an oral presentation at the 39th Annual Conference of the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) this month in Canberra (program).  The title of the presentation, which is jointly authored with Ingrid McKenzie, is ‘Economic evaluations of interventions to improve breastfeeding’.  The slides for the presentation can be downloaded here.

Hospital Performance Measurement Forum

The inaugural Hospital Performance Measurement Forum, organised by Informa Australia, was held in Sydney on 10-11 December (program).  Two ACERH staff gave presentations at the Forum.  Professor Jim Butler was invited to give a presentation in a Keynote Roundtable session on ‘Key issues associated with the creation of national hospital performance indicators’.  Dr Agnes Walker was invited to give a presentation on ‘Clinical effectiveness and responsive governance’ and to participate in a Panel discussion on ‘Overcoming the discrepancies associated with separate State hospital jurisdictions’.

Jerusalem Conference on Health Policy

The Fourth International Jerusalem Conference on Health Policy is being held in Israel on 7-10 December (Conference web site).  The theme of the Conference is ‘Improving Health & Healthcare: Who is Responsible? Who is Accountable?’.  Dr Francesco Paolucci will be giving a presentation entitled ‘Subsidizing private health insurance: why, how and how to proceed?’ at this Conference.  The full Conference program can be downloaded here.

 

November 2009

ANU Economics Showcase

The ANU Economics Showcase is an annual event designed to highlight the breadth and depth of economics research undertaken across the ANU. This year’s event will be held on 25-26 November on the ANU campus. The program includes presentations from three ACERH academic staff:

Julie Smith, "Mothers, babies, work and superannuation tax concessions"

Agnes Walker, "Evaluating health policy scenarios that simultaneously target several chronic diseases"

Yuhua Shi, "Pharmaceutical supply chain in China: a review of issues and problems"

ACERH @ 1st Biennial Meeting of the Asian Society of Gynecologic Oncology

The Asian Society of Gynecologic Oncology (ASGO) will hold its first biennial meeting in Tokyo on 22 November 2009 (flyer). Professor Luke Connelly will give an invited address in an education session, held in conjunction with the conference, on 21 November entitled ‘Policy Implementation of HPV Vaccine’ (program). The presentation will provide an overview of the types of mathematical and economic models that have been used to estimate the cost-effectiveness of HPV immunisation programs to prevent cervical cancer. Professor Connelly’s presentation can be downloaded here.

ACERH UQ welcomes two international academic visitors

The UQ node of ACERH has recently welcomed two academic visitors. Professor Dorte Gyrd-Hansen holds appointments at The National Institute of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark, and the Danish Institute for Health Services Research. She is undertaking six months’ sabbatical leave as Visiting Professor at ACERH UQ. Dr Narimasa Kumagai is an Associate Professor of Economics in the School of Economics, Kinki University, Japan and is taking 12 months’ sabbatical as a Visiting Scholar at ACERH UQ.

Successful ARC & NHMRC research grant applications

ACERH academic staff are Chief Investigators (CIs) on three successful research grant applications announced recently, all to commence in 2010.

  • Dr Rosemary Korda and Dr Francesco Paolucci are CIs on an ARC Linkage Project Grant led by Dr Lyndal Strazdins from the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health (NCEPH), ANU.
  • Professor Jim Butler and Dr Rosemary Korda are CIs on an NHMRC Project Grant led by Dr Emily Banks from NCEPH, ANU.
  • Professor D’Arcy Holman from The University of Western Australia is leading a team of CIs which includes Associate Professor Rachael Moorin on an NHMRC Partnerships For Better Health Project Grant. (media release)

Further details about these grants are available from the Grants page on this web site.

The Future of Medicare Forum

The inaugural The Future of Medicare Forum, organised by Informa Australia, was held in Sydney on 5-6 November (program).  Professor Jim Butler gave an invited address at the Forum on the topic “Medicare: What’s the problem?’.  In providing some background to his discussion of this topic, Professor Butler noted that, in the latest World Health Statistics for 2007 recently released by the World Health Organization, Australia has the 5th highest health-adjusted life expectancy (HALE) out of 194 countries in the database (up from 9th place four years earlier), but is only the 33rd highest out of 192 countries in terms of the proportion of GDP spent on health.  The slides from Professor Butler’s presentation can be downloaded here.

 

October 2009

Australian and New Zealand Obesity Society (ANZOS) Conference

Professor Jim Butler gave a presentation at the 17th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Australian and New Zealand Obesity Society (ANZOS) held in Melbourne on 23-25 October 2009 (program & abstracts).  His presentation, reporting work undertaken with colleagues Dr Agnes Walker (ACERH ANU) and Professor Stephen Colagiuri (Boden Institute of Obesity, Nutrition and Exercise, University of Sydney) was entitled ‘Evaluating an obesity prevention scenario in a health and ageing model-system that simultaneously targets several chronic diseases’.

ACERH staff member joins ACT Health Council

Dr Rosemary Korda, a postdoctoral fellow at ACERH (ANU), has been appointed by the ACT Minister for Health, Ms Katy Gallagher, MLA, to the ACT Health Council.  The Health Council is a key source of advice and guidance on health plans and policies to the ACT Government.  Its’ members are drawn from the community and appointed by the Minister.

31st Australian Conference of Health Economists

ACERH was well represented at the recent 31st Australian Conference of Health Economists held on 1-2 October in Hobart (program).  The conference is an annual event organised by the Australian Health Economics Society.  ACERH staff, students and visitors gave ten presentations at the conference (presenting author’s name underlined):

Authors: M Hajizadeh, LB Connelly, JRG Butler and A Khosravi
Title: Measuring horizontal inequities in Iran’s health care system using a wealth index  (slides)
   
Authors: Y Shi, M Yu and F Paolucci
Title: Socio-economic criteria and options in the development of national basic packages in China  (slides)
   
Authors: X Yu, Y Shi and M Yu
Title: The dilemma of Chinese pharmaceutical market  (paper)
   
Authors: S Gargett, LB Connelly and HS Nghiem
Title: Crash or crash through? Australian policy targets and road traffic casualties: Preliminary results  (paper)
   
Authors: N Spearing and LB Connelly
Title: Is injury compensation bad for health? A systematic meta-review  (slides)
   
Authors: A Walker, JRG Butler and S Colagiuri
Title: Economic model system of chronic diseases in Australia: A novel approach to assess prevention and treatment options
   
Authors: LB Connelly, F Paolucci, JRG Butler and P Collins
Title: Risk equalisation and voluntary health insurance markets: The case of Australia  (slides)
   
Authors: D Rowell, HS Nghiem and LB Connelly
Title: Moral hazard: An empirical examination of the insurance market for road traffic crashes (RTC) in Australia  (slides)
   
Authors: R Khanam and HS Nghiem
Title: The impact of child health on schooling: Evidence from Bangladesh  (slides)
   
Authors: R Khanam, HS Nghiem and LB Connelly
Title: Does maternity leave affect child health: Evidence from the Parental Leave in Australia Survey  (slides)

ACERH staff member joins the Risk Adjustment Network

Dr Francesco Paolucci has recently been admitted as a member of the Risk Adjustment Network (RAN), a collaborative of economists on the science and practice of regulated competition in health insurance markets .  Dr Paolucci is the 22nd member to join the Network, and the first holding an Australian affiliation.

 

September 2009

ACERH at the Australian Conference of Economists

ACERH staff and students gave three oral presentations at the Australian Conference of Economists held on 28-30 September 2009 in Adelaide.  The Australian Conference of Economists is organised by The Economic Society of Australia.  The presentations were as follows (presenting author’s name underlined):

Khanam R, Nghiem HS and Connelly LB, "Chronic conditions and child health: Does income mediate?"

Khanam R and Nghiem, HS "The impact of child health on schooling: Evidence from Bangladesh"

Hajizadeh M, Connelly LB and Butler JRG, "Equity of health care financing in Australia revisited"

Dr Rosemary Korda wins J G Crawford Prize at ANU

The ANU Vice-Chancellor announced recently that Dr Rosemary Korda has been awarded a J G Crawford Prize for her PhD thesis 'Socioeconomic inequalities in health care in Australia: Differential impacts on mortality and inequalities in the use of services'.  The J G Crawford Prize was established in 1973.  Up to three prizes are awarded annually to two PhD graduates and one Masters degree graduate admitted to their degrees during the previous year.  Dr Korda completed her PhD thesis in the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health (NCEPH) at ANU prior to taking up her appointment as a Postdoctoral Fellow at ACERH (ANU) in April 2008.  Dr Korda currently holds a joint appointment at NCEPH and ACERH.

Medical Technology Association of Australia (MTAA) conference

The MTAA Annual Conference, entitled ‘Medical Technology 2009 – Access to market for new technologies’ was held in Sydney on 23-24 September 2009 (program).  Professor Jim Butler accepted an invitation to join two workshop panels at the conference – Workshop 4 ‘Regional Health Technology Assessment comparison: International focus’, and Workshop 6 ‘Australian Health Technology Assessment review’.  At each workshop, Panel members were asked to give a brief presentation following which there was an extended discussion of issues raised by the speakers and from the floor.  The slides from Professor Butler’s brief presentations at the workshops can be downloaded here.

Visit by Professor Kunitz, University of Rochester

Professor Stephen Kunitz from the Department of Community and Preventive Medicine, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, New York USA, will be a Visiting Fellow at ACERH (ANU) from 8-26 September.  Broadly Professor Kunitz’s research has been on several related topics in the sociology of medical knowledge, the history of medicine, and the relationship between social change and morbidity and mortality.  His most recent books, all published by Oxford University Press, are Disease and Social Diversity: The Impact of Europeans on the Health of Non-Europeans (1994), Drinking, Conduct Disorder, and Social Change: Navajo Experiences (2000) and The Health of Populations: General Theories and Particular Realities (2006).  While visiting ACERH he will work with Professor Jim Butler and Dr Rosemary Korda on a research project investigating the relationship between income, income inequality and mortality in Australia.  The financial support by way of a travel grant from the Office of the Vice-Chancellor at ANU which has enabled Professor Kunitz’s visit is gratefully acknowledged.

ACERH Research Forum Canberra

ACERH will present a half-day Research Forum at the Australian National University on 1 September.  International visitor Professor Peter Zweifel from the University of Zurich will speak at the Forum.  Other speakers will be Professor Luke Connelly, Dr Francesco Paolucci and Professor Jim Butler from ACERH, Ms Penny Shakespeare from the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, and Mr Michael Bassingthwaighte, CEO of Peoplecare. The topic for the Forum is ‘Risk-equalisation in health insurance markets – design, operation and future issues in Australia, Ireland, South Africa and Switzerland’.  The program for the event can be downloaded here.

 

August 2009

Inaugural GP Super Clinics Conference

The Inaugural GP Super Clinics Conference organised by Informa Australia was held in Sydney on 26-27 August 2009 (program).  Professor Jim Butler accepted an invitation to give an address on the topic ‘Should government provide additional subsidies for GP Super Clinics and the long-term effects on financial sustainability’.  His presentation provides an overview of the GP Super Clinics initiative and critically examines the argument that market failure justifies additional subsidies for this form of business organisation.

National Breastfeeding Strategy Workshop

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Health and Ageing report on breastfeeding  ̶  The Best Start: Report on the Inquiry into the Health Benefits of Breastfeeding  ̶  recognised the health benefits of breastfeeding for both babies and mothers in terms of the physiological, nutritional and cognitive aspects of infant development as well as maternal wellbeing. The Australian Government response to the inquiry agreed to provide national leadership in promoting and supporting breastfeeding by inviting state and territory governments, through the Australian Health Ministers’ Conference, to collaborate on the development and implementation of a National Breastfeeding Strategy. The Allen Consulting Group has been commissioned by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing to develop a National Breastfeeding Strategy for consideration by the Australian Health Ministers' Conference (AHMC). To progress the development of this Strategy, the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing is holding several National Breastfeeding Strategy Workshops. ACERH staff member Dr Julie Smith was one of three breastfeeding experts invited to attend such a workshop in Canberra on 31 July.

ACERH staff member interviewed on ABC Radio National

Professor Luke Connelly was interviewed on the ABC Radio National program Background Briefing on 2 August 2009 on the costs and consequences of so-called “lifestyle” diseases.  The mp3 file of the story can be downloaded here.

ARC Linkage Project Grant

Dr Julie Smith, Research Fellow at ACERH (ANU), and colleagues have been awarded an ARC Linkage Project grant to study best practice strategies for breastfeeding in workplaces and childcare centres.  By generating new knowledge on how to strengthen community and policy support for breastfeeding, the proposed research will contribute to National Research Priority goals regarding promoting and maintaining good health.  Assisting employed mothers to continue breastfeeding will reduce adverse impacts of genetic, social and environmental factors predisposing infants and children to ill health and reducing their life potential.  It will also help prevent disease, and help mothers reconcile labour force participation with protecting their own and their children's health.  Further details about the grant can be found on the Grants page on this web site.

Axel Ingleman prize for best presentation

ACERH is involved in a collaborative randomised controlled trial study of two alternative ways of repairing vaginal vault prolapse: via laparoscopic or open surgical procedure.  A presentation by the lead author of this study, Dr Chris Maher, entitled ‘Laparoscopic sacral colpopexy versus total vaginal mesh vaginal vault prolapse: RCT’, recently won the Axel Ingelman prize for best presentation at the 34th Annual Meeting of the International Urogynecological Association (IUGA), Lake Como, Italy, on 16-21 June 2009. (slides)

ACERH academic speaks in Canada, France and China

ACERH (ANU) Fellow Dr Agnes Walker gave presentations at three international conferences in June and July.  She also gave an invited lecture at Peking University, Beijing in the Ma Yinchu Population Lecture Series to honour those who have made outstanding contributions in the study of Population Science.  The following are the details of the presentations at the International Microsimulation Association conference in Canada and the quadrennial IAGG World Congress in France:

Conference:  

Title of presentation:
2nd General Conference of the International Microsimulation Association, Ottawa, Canada, 8-10 June 2009 (conference web site)
Economic model system of chronic diseases in Australia: the prototype
(slides    paper)
Conference:

Title of presentation:
19th International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics (IAGG) World Congress, Paris, France, 5-9 July 2009
Health and ageing: modelling multiple chronic diseases – Australia
(abstract     poster)

Dr Walker also presented at the International Health Economics Association (iHEA) 7th World Congress on Health Economics held in Beijing from 7-9 July 2009.  Details of those presentations can be found under the News item entitled 'ACERH @ iHEA World Congress – Presentations' elsewhere on this site.  While in Beijing for this conference, Dr Walker gave the invited lecture at Peking University mentioned above (slides).

NIRIS award

Associate Professor Rachael Moorin, ACERH (UWA) Node Director, has been awarded a grant under the 2009 New Independent Researcher Infrastructure Support (NIRIS) program funded by the Department of Health in Western Australia. The program aims to develop and support outstanding new medical and health researchers in WA. Further details are available on the Grants page on this web site.

 

July 2009

8th Annual Health Insurance Summit, Sydney

The 8th Annual Health Insurance Summit, organised by Informa Australia, was held in Sydney on 28-29 July 2009 (program). Professor Jim Butler accepted an invitation to give a presentation at the conference entitled ‘Healthcare reform: the future of private health insurance in Australia’ (slides). He argued that two important reasons for reforming health care financing in Australia are (1) duplicate coverage by public and private health insurance that is encouraged by current funding arrangements, and (2) that public policies designed to increase the privately funded share in health care financing over the last decade have failed. His talk considered two policy options for addressing this situation – the establishment of a Medicare Hospital Benefits Scheme to expand coverage by the public insurance program (Medicare) and reduce coverage by private health insurance, and an opt-out option that would allow people to take a risk-adjusted subsidy to purchase private health insurance and, in so doing, opt out of Medicare. Two main variants of the opt-out option were discussed (‘voluntary opt out’ where the public insurance program is retained, and ‘compulsory opt out’ where the public insurance program is removed and cover is available only through private health insurance).

Visit by Professor Zweifel, University of Zurich

Professor Peter Zweifel from the Department of Economics, University of Zurich, will be a Visiting Fellow at ACERH (ANU) from 8 August to 4 September. Professor Zweifel was born in Zurich in 1946. He graduated in economics from the University of Zurich in 1974 with a dissertation on empirical research into consumer demand in Switzerland. He discovered health economics as a brand new field of research during his stay in Madison at the University of Wisconsin in 1974-1975. After one year of service as an invited professor at the University of the Armed Forces in Munich, he became an Assistant Professor of International Economics at the University of Zurich in 1983, and Professor of Economics in 1990. A second edition of his textbook on health economics has recently been published (Zweifel P, Breyer F and Kifmann M, Health Economics, Boston: Springer). Further information on Professor Zweifel, including his considerable list of published works, is available in his online CV.

During his stay, Professor Zweifel will be giving several seminars at both the ANU and UQ nodes of ACERH. He will also be participating in an ACERH Research Forum on risk equalisation in private health insurance. Further details on each of these events will be appearing on the ACERH web site in the near future.

The financial support by way of a travel grant from the Office of the Vice-Chancellor at ANU which has enabled Professor Zweifel’s visit is gratefully acknowledged.

Visit by Dr Lixin Cai, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research

Lixin Cai will be a Visiting Fellow at ACERH (ANU) from 3-28 August. Dr Cai joined the Melbourne Institute in August 2003, working in the Labour Economics and Social Policy Group. Before joining the Melbourne Institute, he worked at the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) from 2002 to 2003 and was one of the contributors to the construction of the Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA) 2001. Prior to coming to Australia, he had worked at the Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MoLSS) of China from 1994 to 1999 and contributed to the policy development in social security reforms, social insurance funds management, and financing of the old age pension in China. His recent work has been at the interface of labour economics and health economics, concentrating on the relationship between health and labour market outcomes, and the relationship between socioeconomic status and health. Among others, he has a paper forthcoming in the Economic Record on the effect of health on the wages of Australian men, and a paper forthcoming in Labour Economics on the relationship between health and labour force participation.

ACERH @ iHEA World Congress Presentations

A number of ACERH staff and students gave presentations at the International Health Economics Association (iHEA) 7th World Congress on Health Economics held in Beijing from 7‑9 July 2009. A list of these presentations is provided below (presenting author’s name underscored) together with links to the slides/posters for those presentations available for download.

Authors: Mohammad Hajizadeh and Luke B Connelly
Title:  Equity of health care financing in Iran (slides)
   
Authors: Mohammad Hajizadeh, Luke B Connelly and James RG Butler
Title:  Equity of health care financing in Australia (poster)
   
Authors: Rasheda Khanam, Hong Son Nghiem and Luke B. Connelly
Title:  Child health and the income gradient in Australia: the role of chronic conditions (slides)
   
Authors: Raja Jahangeer, Renata Hasanova and James RG Butler
Title:  Health service utilisation in the absence of user fees: does travel time matter? The case of Tonga (slides)
   
Authors: Ian McRae
Title:  Does understanding physician markets requires modelling both supply and demand? Evidence from Australian GPs (slides)
   
Authors: Luke B Connelly, Francesco Paolucci, James RG Butler and Paul Collins (slides)
Title:  Risk equalisation in Australia
   
Authors: Wynand van de Ven, John Armstrong, Francesco Paolucci and Heather McLeod
Title:  Risk equalisation in voluntary health insurance markets: a three-country comparison
   
Authors: Francesco Paolucci and Louis Niessen
Title:  Socio-economic rationales to define National Benefits Packages: a conceptual framework and policy implications
   
Authors: Louis Niessen and Francesco Paolucci
Title:  Priority Setting in Policy Implementation: A Discrete Choice Exercise
   
Authors: Yuhua Shi, Francesco Paolucci and Min Yu
Title:  Present and future desirability and options in the development of basic packages in China (slides)
   
Authors: Agnes Walker and Francesco Paolucci
Title:  Population ageing, longevity, health care systems and funding arrangements: can low/middle/high income countries learn from each other’s experiences? (slides)
   
Authors: Agnes Walker, James RG Butler and Stephen Colagiuri
Title:  Evaluating policies that target several chronic diseases: using a new economic model system – Australia (poster)
   
Authors: Francesco Paolucci and Henry Ergas
Title:  Providing and financing aged care in Australia

ACERH hosts WHO Fellows on study tour

On 6-9 July, ACERH (ANU) will host a study tour in Australia by three World Health Organization (WHO) Fellows from China.  The Fellows are:

Professor Yaohua DAI, Director, China Advisory Center for Child Health and Disease Control and WHO Collaborating Center for Child Health, Beijing

Professor Tian-You WANG, Professor of Pediatrics, Capital Institute of Pediatrics, Beijing

Associate Professor Xiaohua XIE, Program Coordinator, China Advisory Center for Child Health and Disease Control and WHO Collaborating Center for Child Health, Beijing

The purpose of the tour, coordinated by Dr Julie Smith, is to study breastfeeding in Australia, specifically the implementation of the UNICEF/WHO Breastfeeding Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI), community breastfeeding support, and the regulation of marketing of breastmilk substitutes.  The Fellows will visit a range of institutions and organisations in Canberra and Melbourne, and will attend a seminar at ANU on the BFHI in Australia and community support for breastfeeding.  Further details about the Fellows and their program are available here.

 

June 2009

Productivity Commission study of public and private hospitals

The Commonwealth Assistant Treasurer, The Honourable Chris Bowen MP, announced last month that the Productivity Commission would undertake a commissioned study into the relative performance of the public and private hospital systems, and related data issues (Media Release 052, 15 May 2009).  Professor Jim Butler has accepted an invitation from the Productivity Commission to attend an initial roundtable meeting about the study, to be held in Canberra on 30 June.  Further details about the study, including the Issues Paper prepared by the Commission for discussion at the roundtable, are available from the Commission’s web site here.

MSAC Economics Sub-Committee

Professor Jim Butler has been appointed Chair of the Economics Sub-Committee of the Australian Government’s Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC).

ACERH Research Forum - Brisbane

A half-day Research Forum on ‘Income, Chronic Conditions and Child Health’ will be held at the University of Queensland on 22 June.  International visitor Professor H Shelton Brown III from the University of Texas will speak at the Forum.  Other speakers will be Professor Luke Connelly and Dr Rasheda Khanam from the UQ node of ACERH, Dr Rebecca Hill from the Centre for Child Health Nutrition at UQ, and Professor Justin Kenardy from the Centre of National Research on Disability and Rehabilitation Medicine (CONROD) and the School of Psychology at UQ.  The flyer for the event can be downloaded here.

Symposium on Human Papillomavirus Vaccination

Professor Luke Connelly gave an invited presentation at the First Symposium on Human Papillomavirus Vaccination in the Asia-Pacific and Middle-East Regions held in Seoul on 1‑2  June 2009.  The Symposium was organised by the International Vaccine Institute (IVI).  His presentation, entitled ‘Modelling the Cost-Effectiveness of HPV Vaccination: Evidence from High-Income Countries and Considerations for Low- and Middle-Income Countries’, is available as video-on-demand from the IVI web site and his slides are available for download here.

 

May 2009

GSK meeting on pneumococcal disease

On 20 May 2009, GlaxoSmithKline Australia hosted a morning of presentations and discussion on pneumococcal disease at Old Parliament House in Canberra.  Stephen Pelton, Professor of Paediatrics and Epidemiology, Boston Schools of Medicine and Public Health, gave a presentation entitled ‘Global update on invasive pneumococcal disease, otitis media and the impact of vaccination’.  Professor Jim Butler, ACERH (ANU), one of two local speakers at the event, gave a presentation entitled ‘Economic burden of pneumococcal disease in Australia’.  Further details are available in the flyer for the event.

Annual Conference of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons

The 78th Annual Scientific Conference of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons was held at the Brisbane Convention Centre on 6- 9 May.  The following presentation was given at this Conference by Mr David Rowell, a PhD student at ACERH (UQ):

Rowell D, Connelly LB, Tippett V, Thiele D and Schuetz M, "Multiple trauma patients — What are the real costs for society?"

 

April 2009

ACERH staff member invited to attend meetings in Washington DC

Research Fellow Dr Julie Smith has been invited to attend a meeting in Washington DC in the last week in April to assist in developing a Call to Action on Breastfeeding.  The invitation was extended by Suzanne Hayes, PhD, Senior Science Advisor, Office of Women’s Health, Department of Health and Human Services who, along with Dr Larry Grummer-Strawn from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), has been working with the Surgeon General’s Office to develop the Call to Action.  While in Washington DC, Dr Smith has also been invited to meet with the domestic policy advisor to Congresswoman Carolyn B Maloney, Nan Gibson, Executive Director of the US Congress Joint Economic Committee, and Elisabeth Jacobs who is also with the Joint Economic Committee, regarding the economics of breastfeeding.

PhD scholarships available at ANU and UQ nodes of ACERH

ACERH has several PhD scholarships available for those interested in full-time doctoral study.  Further details are available in an information sheet which can be downloaded hereClosing date for applications:  Friday, 5 June 2009.

ACERH staff member interviewed on ABC Radio National

Professor Jim Butler was interviewed on the Breakfast show, ABC Radio National, on 3 April as part of a story on hospital waiting lists.  The mp3 file of the story can be downloaded here.

Report for Commonwealth Grants Commission

At the meeting of the Ministerial Council for Commonwealth-State Financial Relations in 2004, the Heads of Treasuries were asked to review the methodology employed by the Commonwealth Grants Commission for distributing GST revenue between the States and Territories.  Upon receiving this review at its 2005 meeting, the Council agreed that the Commission be provided with terms of reference to guide it in simplifying its methodology by 2010.  In the latter part of 2008, the Commission engaged Professor Jim Butler to provide independent advice on several aspects of the methodology it proposes to adopt for one of the two categories of health services in its assessments, viz. Community and Other Health (the other category being Admitted Patients).  Professor Butler has now finished his Report which has been accepted by the Commission and can be downloaded here.

Menzies-ACERH public forum on governance of Australia’s health care system

The Menzies Centre for Health Policy, in conjunction with ACERH, will host this public forum at ANU on Wednesday, 15 April from 5:30pm-9:00pm.  The title of the forum is ‘Strengthening the governance of Australia’s healthcare system: Option C – how others do it and how could we do it?’.  Further details including the program are available in the flyer for the event.

 

March 2009

ACERH staff member on '9am with David & Kim'

A recently published ACERH working paper reported the results of a study on the information conveyed by the titles and abstracts of professional journal articles on breastfeeding, formula feeding and health risks − see ACERH Working Paper No.4 (a revised version of this paper has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Human Lactation).  The study found that formula feeding was rarely named as an exposure increasing health risk in publication titles or abstracts, a result described by the authors as the ‘Voldemort’ effect.  Dr Julie Smith, an ACERH Research Fellow and lead author on the study, was interviewed about the study on the television show ‘9am with David and Kim’, aired nationally on Network Ten, on 31 March.  The video of this interview, which can be viewed using Windows Media Player, can be downloaded here (large file warning: 78Mb). 

IARU Workshop

ACERH, in conjunction with the Ageing Research Unit, Centre for Mental Health Research, ANU, hosted a small research workshop in Canberra on 26-27 March on the topic ‘Responding to Social/Health Challenges in Ageing Populations: Can Countries Learn from Each Other's Experiences?’.  The workshop was designed to provide an opportunity for scholars from the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU) network to form research teams and design projects that they will pursue collaboratively.  The program and list of delegates for the workshop provide further information on the event.  The financial support provided by the International Development Office, Division of Registrar and Student Services, ANU, for this event is gratefully acknowledged.

11th Annual Health Congress, Sydney

This congress, organised by Informa Australia, will be held on 23-25 March in Sydney.  Professor Jim Butler has been invited to moderate a panel discussion at the conference addressing the topic ‘Creating a sustainable health funding framework’.  Further details about the congress are available from Informa Australia.  The program for the congress can be downloaded here.

HIRMAA presentation

Professor Luke Connelly gave an invited presentation to the Health Insurance Restricted Membership Association of Australia (HIRMAA) in Sydney on 5 March 2009. His presentation, entitled ‘Risk equalisation in Australia: What does it really mean, and what is its significance?’, included an overview of the Australian risk equalisation scheme and its relative size, along with its impact on the 37 health insurance funds in Australia – especially the 17 HIRMAA funds, most of which are net contributors to the Risk Equalisation Trust Fund.

ACERH @ iHEA 7th World Congress − Abstracts

A number of ACERH staff and students will be giving presentations at the International Health Economics Association (iHEA) 7th World Congress on Health Economics being held in Beijing from 7‑9 July 2009 (listed below – presenting authors’ names shown).  Abstracts for these presentations can be downloaded here.  Slides from these presentations will be available for download from this web site shortly after the conference.

Mohammad Hajizadeh, "Equity of health care financing in Iran" (short format presentation)

Rasheda Khanam, "Child Health and the Income Gradient in Australia: The Role of Chronic Conditions" (long format presentation)

Raja Jahangeer, "Health service utilisation in the absence of user fees: does travel time matter? The case of Tonga" (short format presentation)

Ian McRae, "Does understanding physician markets requires modelling both supply and demand? Evidence from Australian GPs" (long format presentation)

Francesco Paolucci, "Socio-economic rationales to define National Benefits Packages: a conceptual framework and policy implications" (organised session on ‘Socio-economic rationales to define national benefits packages: applications countries in Europe, N-America & China’)

Francesco Paolucci, "Preferences and Attitudes in Health Care: Evidence from the U.S. and Australia" (organised session on ‘Preferences and Attitudes in Health Care: A Cross-Country Comparative Analysis’)

Francesco Paolucci, "Risk Equalisation in Australia" (organised session on ‘Risk equalisation in voluntary health insurance markets: the cases of Australia, Ireland and South Africa’)

Yuhua Shi, "Present and future desirability and options in the development of basic packages in China" (organised session on ‘Socio-economic rationales to define national benefits packages: applications countries in Europe, N-America & China’)

Agnes Walker, "Population ageing, longevity, health care systems and funding arrangements: can low/middle/high income countries learn from each other’s experiences? " (organised session on ‘Ageing and long term care financing: an international comparison’)

 

February 2009

ACERH Policy Forum

The third annual ACERH Policy Forum was held at the University of Western Australia on Friday, 20 February.  The Policy Forum is a one-day event that provides an opportunity for an exchange of ideas between ACERH staff and doctoral students and bureaucrats, policy advisors, economic consultants and other professionals who work in the health policy area.  In all, 14 speakers presented at the Forum on topics dealing with organ donation, health financing reform and health services research.  The program for the Forum is available on the ACERH web site (click here).

Economic Society of Australia (Canberra Branch) seminar

Dr Francesco Paolucci will address a seminar in Canberra organised by the Economic Society of Australia on Wednesday, 11 February.  The topic of his seminar is ‘Reforming public/private health care financing: Opting-out of Medicare with risk-adjusted subsidies?’.  Details of the event can be downloaded here.

 

January 2009

CSIRO/ACERH partnership wins Land & Water Australia Grant

Dr Stefan Hajkowicz from CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, Brisbane, will lead a project with Professor Jim Butler from ACERH (ANU) as co-investigator to develop a standardised valuation metric for Australian environmental and natural resource management programs.  The project will design and test a prototype environmental quality metric which replicates the concepts of QALYs and DALYs in health economics.  The project has received funding under the Land and Water Australia Innovation Call Project Grant scheme.  Further details on the grant are available on the Grants page on this web site.

NHMRC Capacity Building Grant

ACERH (UWA) Node Director, Dr Rachael Moorin, is a Chief Investigator on an NHMRC Capacity Building Grant announced recently.  The Outcomes, Services and Policy for the Reproductive and Early Years (OSPREY) program will build human capacity, skills and methods to use linked health service data for research to inform improvements in health services for mothers, babies and children.  It brings together experienced chief investigators from NSW and WA, and eminent national and international mentors.  Through the program, nine team investigators will develop as independent researchers, substantially boosting Australia’s capacity for health services research focused on a “Healthy start to life”.  Further details on the grant are available here.

ACERH staff member appointed to MSAC

Professor Jim Butler has accepted an invitation to be a member of the Australian Government’s Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC).  The principal role of MSAC is to advise the Australian Minister for Health and Ageing on evidence relating to the safety, effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of new medical technologies and procedures.  Further information on MSAC is available here.

 


   

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