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December 2010

Diabetes Policy Conference

Dr Agnes Walker gave an invited address at the the inaugural Diabetes Policy Conference organised by Informa Australia and held in Sydney on 1-3 December (program).  Dr Walker was a member of a Panel discussing the topic ‘Is there adequate funding for people with diabetes?’.  Other Panel members were Dr Henry Cutler, Associate Director (Health Economics), Access Economics, and Dr Philip Clarke, Senior Research Associate (Health Economics), School of Public Health, The University of Sydney.


November 2010

ACERH gets some SHUTi

Professor Jim Butler is a Chief Investigator on a successful NHMRC Project Grant application to commence in 2011. The project, led by Professor Helen Christensen, Director of the Centre for Mental Health Research (CMHR) at ANU, will investigate the efficacy of a novel internet-based insomnia treatment program (SHUTi - Sleep Healthy Using the Internet) as a prevention tool for Major Depressive Disorder. Details of the grant can be found on ACERH's Grants web page.

First Global Symposium on Health Systems Research

The First Global Symposium on Health Systems Research, organised by the World Health Organization (WHO) and partner organisations, was held in Montreux, Switzerland from 16-19 November 2010. The theme of the Symposium was 'Science to Accelerate Universal Health Coverage'. To download the book of abstracts from the Symposium, click here. Shehrin Mahmood, a PhD student at ANU working on micro health insurance, gave an oral presentation at the Symposium. The title of her presentation was 'Lessons from an intervention programme to make informal health care providers effective in rural Bangladesh' (abstract).

The 2nd Annual Future of Medicare Conference

Dr Francesco Paolucci gave an invited address at the The 2nd Annual Future of Medicare Conference organised by Informa Australia and held in Sydney on 10-11 November (program).  Dr Paolucci spoke on the topic ‘With rising healthcare expenditures, how will Australia pay for it?’.

International Symposium on Social Aspects of a Changing Population

Professor Jim Butler gave an invited address at the International Symposium on Social Aspects of a Changing Population held in Singapore on 8-9 November 2010.  The title of his presentation was ‘Ageing and health care expenditures – why worry?’.  The Symposium was jointly organised by Centre for Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Nanyang Technological University (Singapore) and the Antai College of Economics and Management, Shanghai Jiao Tong University (China).  Full details of the Symposium including the program, abstracts and list of participants can be downloaded here.

Papers in Health Policy

Dr Francesco Paolocci, Professor Luke Connelly and Professor Jim Butler are co-authors of several papers and an editorial on risk equalisation and voluntary health insurance markets published in the journal Health Policy this month (previews).  The complete set of papers is as follows:

Armstrong J, Paolucci F and van de Ven WPMM, "Risk equalisation in voluntary health insurance markets (editorial)", Health Policy, Vol.98 No.1, November 2010, pp.1-2.

Connelly LB, Paolucci F, Butler JRG and Collins P, "Risk equalisation and voluntary health insurance markets: The case of Australia", Health Policy, Vol.98 No.1, November 2010, pp.3-14.

Armstrong J, "Risk equalisation and voluntary health insurance markets: The case of Ireland", Health Policy, Vol.98 No.1, November 2010, pp.15-26.

McLeod H and Grobler P, "Risk equalisation and voluntary health insurance: The South Africa experience", Health Policy, Vol.98 No.1, November 2010, pp.27-38.

Armstrong J, Paolucci F, McLeod H and van de Ven WPMM, "Risk equalisation in voluntary health insurance markets: A three country comparison", Health Policy, Vol.98 No.1, November 2010, pp.39-49.


October 2010

32nd Australian Conference of Health Economists

ACERH staff and students gave four presentations at this conference held in Sydney on 30 September and 1 October.  The conference is organised by the Australian Health Economics Society (AHES).  To download the program for the conference, click here.  The presentations were as follows (presenting author’s name underlined):

AuthorsHS Nghiem, S Gargett and LB Connelly
Title:  Reductions and convergence in road traffic crash fatality rates in OECD countries: Preliminary results (slides)

AuthorsD Rowell, HS Nghiem and LB Connelly
Title:  The empirical evaluation of moral hazard: Claims versus survey data (slides)

AuthorsN Spearing and LB Connelly
Title:  The relationship between ex post moral hazard and injury compensation (slides)

AuthorsA Walker, JRG Butler and S Colagiuri
Title:  Cardiovascular disease and diabetes in Australia: Cost effectiveness of an integrated vascular risk assessment and management intervention


September 2010

Workshop on Efficiency and Productivity in the Health Sector

This one-day workshop, organised by the Centre for Efficiency and Productivity Analysis, School of Economics, The University of Queensland, was held in Brisbane on 30 September.  The program for the workshop can be downloaded here.  Dr Mai Pham from the Research School of Economics at ANU, who holds an Adjunct Appointment at ACERH, gave a presentation at the workshop entitled ‘Public patients, private patients and mortality in Australian public and private hospitals’.

International Conference on Evidence-Based Policy in Long-term Care

Dr Francesco Paolucci from ACERH (ANU) gave a presentation at this Conference held in London from 8‑11 September.  The Conference was organised by the Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU), London School of Economics, as part of the International Long-term care Policy Network (ILPN).  Further details of the Conference are available here.  Dr Paolucci’s presentation was entitled ‘Providing and financing aged care in Australia’ (program).

New professorial appointment at ACERH (UQ)

Professor Dorte Gyrd-Hansen commenced an appointment as Professor of Health Economics at the ACERH (UQ) node on 1 September.  Professor Gyrd-Hansen joins the academic staff at UQ following her recent visiting fellowship at ACERH (UQ).  She continues to hold a joint appointment at the University of Southern Denmark as Professor of Health Economics.  Further details about Professor Gyrd-Hansen, including a selected list of her publications, are available on her staff page.


August 2010

New PhD scholar – ACERH (ANU)

Ghada Gleeson commenced her PhD candidature at ACERH (ANU) this month.  She has been awarded an Australian Postgraduate Award (Industry) (APAI) under an ARC Linkage Project grant won by Professor Jim Butler and Professor Luke Connelly.  See the Grants page on this web site for further details about this grant, and the Students at ANU page for further information about Ms Gleeson and her topic.

ACERH (ANU) Research Forum on Aged Care

A half-day Research Forum will be held at ACERH (ANU) from 9:30am to 1:00pm on Wednesday, 1 September 2010.  The topic for this Forum is ‘Reforming Aged Care in Australia’.  For further details of this event, see this flyer.

ACERH @ Emerging Health Policy Research Conference

The 2010 Emerging Health Policy Research Conference, organised by the Menzies Centre for Health Policy, will be held at The University of Sydney on 11 August.  Mr Raja Jahangeer, a PhD student at ACERH (ANU), will be giving a presentation at the conference on the topic ‘Socioeconomic inequalities in early childhood malnutrition in Pakistan’ (Abstract – see p.7) (slides)


July 2010

ACERH and Paid Parental Leave Study

ACERH (UQ) is participating in a study, led by the UQ Institute for Social Sciences Research (ISSR), to examine whether the Paid Parental Leave (PPL) scheme leads to improvements in maternal and child health and development, workforce participation and gender equality.  Professor Connelly was one of a team of researchers, assembled by the ISSR, that won a $2.7m tender to assess the impact of Australian Government’s PPL scheme, which will be introduced in January 2011.  For further details, consult the media release from the office of The Hon Jenny Macklin MP, Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.

ACERH @ World Risk and Insurance Economics Congress

ACERH PhD student David Rowell will attend the 2nd World Risk and Insurance Economics Congress (WRIEC) in Singapore on 25-29 July and present a paper co-authored by Luke Connelly and Son Nghiem entitled 'Moral hazard: An empirical examination of the insurance market for road traffic crashes in Australia' (click here to download paper).

ACERH @ Australian Emergency Surgery Conference

Professor Luke Connelly will give an invited "Grand Rounds" presentation entitled ‘The economics of acute surgical care’ at the inaugural Australian Emergency Surgery Conference being held in Penrith on 22-23 July (program).  To download the slides from Professor Connelly’s presentation, click here.

ACERH @ International Congress of Applied Psychology (ICAP)

Professor Luke Connelly will give a presentation entitled ‘Health utilities in economic evaluation: Whose preferences count, and how?’ at the 27th International Congress of Applied Psychology being held in Melbourne on 11-16 July.  Further details are available from the Conference web site. The abstract for Prof Connelly’s presentation is available in the book of abstracts for the conference which can be downloaded here (see p.630 – Warning: large file size (11.9Mb)).  To download the slides from the presentation, click here.

ACERH @ European Conference on Health Economics

Several ACERH staff and students gave oral presentations at the 8th European Conference on Health Economics held in Helsinki from 7-10 July (presenting author’s name underlined):

AuthorsMohammad Hajizadeh, Luke Connelly and James Butler
Title:  Health policy and horizontal inequity of health care utilization in Australia: 1983-2005

AuthorsMai Pham, Jim Butler and Renata Hasanova
Title:  Comparing quality of care in public and private hospitals using Western Australia’s mortality and hospital morbidity data (1995-2004)

AuthorsJim Butler and Luke Connelly
Title:  Overinsurance

Seminar by Dr Paolucci @ Monash University

Dr Francesco Paolucci, a Research Fellow at ACERH (ANU), has been invited to present a seminar at Centre for Health Economics, Monash University, on 14 July.  The title of his seminar is ‘Risk equalisation in voluntary health insurance markets in three countries’.  Seminars at the Centre for Health Economics run from 1:00pm to 2:00pm and are held in the RB Scotton Room within the Centre in Building 75, Monash University, Clayton.

ACERH @ HETSA conference

ACERH (UQ) PhD student David Rowell is presenting a paper at the annual conference of the History of Economic Thought Society of Australia (HETSA) to be held in Sydney on 7-9 July.  The paper, co-authored with Prof Luke Connelly, is entitled ‘A History of Moral Hazard’.  The program for the conference can be downloaded here.

ACERH (UWA) node

Dr Rachael Moorin, Director of the ACERH (UWA) node, has resigned from this position and from her appointment in the School of Population Health at The University of Western Australia with effect from 30 June.  Dr Moorin is leaving to take up an appointment as Associate Professor and Deputy Head of Discipline of Medical Imaging Science at Curtin University.  With Dr Moorin’s departure for this more senior academic post, the ACERH (UWA) node will be discontinued.


June 2010

ACERH (UQ) PhD student wins APRA scholarship

David Rowell from ACERH (UQ) has been awarded a Brian Gray Scholarship from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA).   APRA and the Reserve Bank of Australia have established the Brian Gray Scholarship in memory of Brian Gray, who died on 24 August 2001 while serving as Executive General Manager of APRA’s Policy, Research and Consulting Division.

ACERH @ ASHE conference

Natalie Spearing, a PhD student at the ACERH (UQ) node, recently attended the 3rd Biennial Conference of the American Society of Health Economists (ASHE) held in Ithaca, New York, on 20-23 June where she presented a poster entitled “Is injury compensation “bad” for health? A systematic meta-review” (poster).  A paper of the same title has been accepted for publication in Injury.  Funding support from the Motor Accident Insurance Commission (MAIC), Queensland’s Compulsory Third Party scheme regulator, supported this study and is gratefully acknowledged.

Westmead International Update on Controversies in Perinatal Care

Dr Julie Smith has accepted an invitation to speak at this event being held at Westmead Hospital on Friday, 18 June.  Dr Smith will be speaking in a session entitled ‘Lactation support and lactation support consultants — essential and cost effective? — or dispensable luxuries?’ (slides).  The flyer/program for the event is available for download here.

Novartis Molecular Diagnostics Advisory Board

Professor Jim Butler has accepted an invitation to join the Molecular Diagnostics Advisory Board recently formed by Novartis Pharma AG in Basel, Switzerland.  The Board will meet several times each year with the inaugural meeting taking place in Cambridge, Massachusetts, this month.


May 2010

Lessons Learned ACT: Hepatitis Programs and Research

A one-day seminar entitled ‘Lessons Learned ACT: Hepatitis Programs and Research’ was held in Canberra on 14 May.  The program included presentations by a number of speakers including Professor Jim Butler from ACERH (ANU) who gave a talk entitled "The epidemiological and economic impact of chronic hepatitis B in Australia to 2017 and the cost-effectiveness of enhanced treatment" (slides).  His talk was based on his recent work with colleagues on this topic and published in the ACERH Research Report series.  The seminar was organised by the ACT Hepatitis Resource Centre.


April 2010

Dr Julie Smith speaks at community breastfeeding event

Dr Smith was invited to speak at an event in Tasmania on 16 April on the topic ‘Breastfeeding – Every Drop Counts’.  Her presentation was given at the Glenorchy Civic Centre in Hobart with a live audiovisual link to a second site in Launceston. The event was organised by the Tasmanian Breastfeeding Coalition and funded through the Tasmanian Early Years Foundation.  To download the slides for the presentations given by Dr Smith at this event, please click the following links:
Presentation 1  Presentation 2

ACERH in The Age and Sydney Morning Herald

Professor Luke Connelly was quoted in The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald in a story on rising private health insurance premiums on 14 April.  The article refers to research results that are contained in ACERH Working Paper No.1.

New staff member at ACERH (UQ)

Dr Kay Cao has recently arrived from New Zealand to take up an appointment as Research Officer at ACERH (UQ).  Further details about Dr Cao are available from her staff web page.

New PhD students at ACERH (ANU)

ACERH (ANU) has recently welcomed two new PhD students.  Ms Shehrin Shaila Mahmood has a background in economics, having completed a masters degree in the subject at the University of Waterloo, Canada.  She is a social science researcher in the various field of health and development in Bangladesh. Her research interests lie in the areas of health equity, health systems, health financing, poverty mapping and community development oriented action research for the improvement of health.  Mr Prem Sowa has taken up candidature following his completion of a dual Masters degree program in economics and management at the University of Warsaw, Poland.  His masters thesis submitted to the Faculty of Economic Sciences was entitled ‘Conditions for the development of voluntary health insurance in Poland’.  His research interests lie in the role of voluntary health insurance in health care financing.


March 2010

Professor Connelly interviewed about HPV vaccination

Professor Connelly was interviewed recently by the Medical Observer and by ABC Radio on The World Today on 30 March regarding the cost-effectiveness of vaccination against human papilloma virus (HPV).  He argues that, in light of recent research from the University of Sydney indicating that 60% of throat and tonsil cancers in men are caused by the virus, the cost-effectiveness of vaccinating boys against HPV should be re-assessed as it may now be more favourable.  The audio segment (MP3 file) from The World Today dealing with this issue can be downloaded here.

ACERH in The Age

Professor Jim Butler has had an Op-Ed published in The Age newspaper on 24 March, commenting on the hospital financing reform proposals of the Commonwealth Government and the recent debate between political leaders on hospital funding held at the National Press Club, Canberra, on 23 March.

The Asian Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver – 20th Conference

The 20th Conference of the Asian Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver (APASL) will be held in Beijing, China, from 25-28 March.  Professor Jim Butler will give an oral presentation at the Conference on the topic "The epidemiological and economic impact of chronic hepatitis B in Australia to 2017 and the cost-effectiveness of enhanced treatment".  This presentation is based upon the work reported in ACERH Research Report No.7.  Further details about the program for the Conference are available here.  The financial sponsorship provided by Bristol-Myers Squibb Australia Pty Ltd to enable Professor Butler to attend the Conference is gratefully acknowledged.

New Visiting Fellow at ACERH (ANU)

Dr Lorna Guinness, a lecturer in health economics at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, will be a Visiting Fellow at ACERH (ANU) for the duration of 2010. 


February 2010

ACERH Policy Forum

The fourth annual ACERH Policy Forum was held at The Australian National University on Friday, 26 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, 10 speakers gave a total of 11 presentations across three sessions at the Forum.  The session themes were:  health financing reform;  injury and compensible patients;  and prevention — incentivising health behaviour.  The program for the Forum together with all the presentations given at the Forum are available on the ACERH web site (click here).

Visiting scholar arrives from China

ACERH (ANU) welcomes Mr Cheng Li from China as a visiting student for the next 12 months.  Mr Li will be undertaking research on health insurance arrangements in China, particularly the Urban Resident Basic Medical Insurance (URBMI) system.  For further information about Mr Li, consult his entry on the Visiting Students page on this web site.


January 2010

HTAi Policy Forum

Professor Jim Butler will represent the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) at the Health Technology Assessment International (HTAi) Policy Forum to be held in Washington DC from 31 January to 2 February.  The Forum is attended by HTAi Board Members (MSAC joined in 2004-05) and international speakers.  The HTAi Policy Forum was established in 2004 to provide a unique opportunity for informed, open and honest debate among a group of senior professionals from leading public and private sector organisations involved at the interface of HTA and health care decision making.  HTAi is an independent, international society.  Its official journal is the International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care published by Cambridge University Press.  Further details about the society are available on the HTAi web site.

ACERH on ABC Radio (‘Flying Doctors fear for future service’)

Professor Connelly was interviewed on the ABC Radio program The Country Hour on 26 January about the argument from the The Royal Flying Doctor Service that it is being undermined by commercial competitors.  The story can be found here.

Merck & Co., Inc./MSD Annual Policy Meeting

Professor Connelly will deliver an invited lecture at the Merck & Co., Inc./MSD Annual Policy Meeting in Shanghai on 25 January 2010.  The 2-hour educational session will cover health economics and its use for health technology assessment.

ACERH on ABC Radio (‘AMA push for bush doctor shake-up’)

Professor Connelly was interviewed on the ABC Radio program The Country Hour on 19 January about the Australian Medical Association (AMA) proposal to remove the provider number limitations on overseas-trained doctors. To listen to this interview, click here.


Page last updated: 16 March, 2013
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