A key date in the Health and Care Economics Cymru calendar is the Annual Meeting of the Welsh Health Economists’ Group (WHEG), funded by Health and Care Research Wales through Welsh Government.
These annual meetings provide a valuable opportunity for Health and Care Economics Cymru-funded PhD students and researchers across Wales and public sector health economists to discuss their current activities and plans with regard to research, teaching and policy support. This is a great opportunity for PhD students and early career researchers to present their own work through presentations and poster displays in a friendly and supportive environment. WHEG also enables colleagues across health and social care organisations to gain awareness of health economics and access a community of expertise.
We were delighted to welcome over 40 colleagues to our two-hour WHEG event on 19th October 2020 (this year held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic). Professors Deb Fitzsimmons and Rhiannon Tudor Edwards, Health and Care Economics Cymru co-directors, began the meeting with a celebration of the retirement and long-standing career of Professor Emeritus Ceri Phillips, Swansea University. Professor Phillips has had a distinguished career as a health economist, often acting as the media voice of health economics in both Welsh and English. Professor Phillips then expanded on the introduction and emphasised in his presentation ‘Approaching the fair innings threshold’ that prudent healthcare is still at the core of ‘value-based healthcare’ in Wales. This was followed by three internal speakers from Swansea University and Bangor University. Dr Mari Jones from the Swansea Centre for Health Economics (SCHE) presented on ‘The cost-effectiveness of the use of radiotherapy in addition to stent placement for patients with advanced stage oesophageal cancer’, and Dr Katherine Cullen from SCHE presented her research on ‘The costs of hepatocellular carcinoma for NHS England: A registry-based analysis’. From the Centre for Health Economics and Medicines Evaluation (CHEME) at Bangor University, Dr Emily Holmes provided details of her Senior Research Award Fellowship regarding antibiotic resistance and patient behaviour. These short presentations reflected the breadth of collaborative health economics work underway across Wales. Our final guest speaker, Dr Brendan Collins, Head of Health Economics, Welsh Government, concluded the event with his talk on the Government’s approach to managing the pandemic, ‘Covid-19: a health shock and economic shock’, including the fire-break lockdown.
Interested in joining WHEG?
We look forward to WHEG 2021, which will be a joint public event to present our work and act as a forum for us to learn from the public, for example through joint workshops. To find out more about WHEG and our annual meetings, please contact Ann Lawton, Health and Care Economics Cymru Administrator, firstname.lastname@example.org.