The increasing use of health economics reflects the NHS’s need to obtain ‘value for money’ for our patients.
‘Value for money’ means achieving the maximum benefit to the population using the finite resources that the NHS has.
In other words, we need to make sure that we consider not only clinical effectiveness (does a treatment work?) but cost effectiveness (is the cost of the treatment justified by the level of benefit achieved?).
The use of health economics is becoming more and more relevant because the wide array of new and expensive health technologies available far exceeds the ability of any healthcare system to afford them. Therefore choices have to be made and those choices must be informed by analysis of the costs and benefits.
NHS Wirral works closely with the University of Liverpool to develop understanding of health economics amongst our staff and undertake evaluations of various local services and initiatives.
For a more in-depth look at the concepts and methods behind health economics, follow the link below to a fact-sheet, written by a specialist in the field of Health Economics from the University of Liverpool’s Management School.
What is Health Economics?
Economic Evaluation of NHS Wirral’s Lifestyle & Weight Management Service (2009)