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News & Press: iHEA News

iHEA Newsletter October 2019

Tuesday, October 29, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Natalie Hill
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International Health Economics Association
iHEA News is the official newsletter of the International Health Economics Association.
Please note that this newsletter only contains summaries. To access a full version PDF of this newsletter, please click here.
Executive Update
Make your mark ... please participate in the iHEA Board elections
During November, there will be an election for our new President-Elect and one member-elected Board Director.  We have been truly overwhelmed by the positive response to the call for iHEA members to make themselves available to serve on the Board, with excellent candidates standing in the election for these two positions. It is very encouraging that health economists of such calibre are willing to contribute to the association and serve iHEA members in this way.

We call on all members to be equally responsive and to vote in the election - it will only take a few minutes of your time and is an important way in which you can contribute to.
Would you like the 2023 iHEA congress to be held in your country? 

This newsletter announces the call for expressions of interest in hosting the 2023 congress. We are particularly interested in receiving proposals from regions that have not yet hosted an iHEA congress.


The key role of local hosts is to contribute to ensuring that the congress reflects the context within which it is held.  The emphasis is on contributing to the program through participating in the Scientific Committee and in the planning of plenary sessions.  The pre-congress session program is an important means for exposing congress delegates to health economics issues within the host country and region.  The local hosts also contribute to conceptualizing the main social event to allow delegates to experience the cuisine and culture of your country and/or region.  Active involvement of students from local universities in a range of support activities during the congress is another way in which the local host contributes to the success of the congress.  The time commitment for local hosts will not be onerous as iHEA takes responsibility for key congress logistics, abstract submission and review, delegate registration and communication, etc.


We encourage iHEA members to review the detailed call for expressions of interest and to consider submitting a proposal by February 14, 2020 for review by the Board. Visit the call for proposals webpage for more information.
Call for proposals to host the 2023 iHEA World Congress

iHEA is interested in receiving expressions of interest from health economics research organizations to host the 2023 World Congress on Health Economics, for between 1,000 to 1,500 delegates. We particularly encourage proposals from regions of the world that have not yet hosted an iHEA congress.


It is important to note that local hosts will not be expected to take on logistics tasks, but will rather contribute by ensuring that the congress reflects the context within which it is held. This is achieved by:

·         Recommending national and regional health economists to serve on the Scientific Committee which develops the congress program

·         Contributing to identifying appropriate plenary speakers and in planning the plenary sessions

·         Actively contributing to the pre-congress session program including by encouraging local and regional health economics groups to submit proposals for pre-congress sessions

·         Recommending an appropriate venue, menus and entertainment for the main social event to allow delegates to experience the best of your country

·         Ensuring the active involvement of students from local universities by hiring and managing students to assist during the congress (e.g. with onsite registration, assisting delegates in finding session venues, providing support to session chairs and presenters, etc.)


iHEA assumes financial responsibility for its congresses, prepares the budget based on contracted rates with local suppliers, ensures spending in line with the budget and arranges for auditing of revenue and expenditure.  It also:

·         Contracts with local venue, IT/AV, catering and other suppliers and undertakes all key congress logistics planning and implementation, working directly with a local convention center, conference hotel or university conference office

·         Develops and maintains the congress website

·         Establishes the Scientific Committee, manages abstract submission and review processes, compiles the program and prepares the online and mobile app programs

·         Manages the pre-congress session program

·         Manages the congress registration system, including collecting registration fees

·         Communicates with abstract submitters and registered delegates, including providing invitation letters for visa applications

·         Raises funds to support delegates in need from low- and middle-income countries and undertakes logistic arrangements for funded delegates

·         Undertakes a post-congress evaluation and prepares a congress report

iHEA and the local hosts will jointly finalize key plans for the congress during a site visit well in advance of the congress.

The background information on iHEA congresses presented below indicates the key space, technology, catering and other requirements for the congress. We encourage local health economists to work with their national or city convention bureau or university conference office to prepare a proposal to host the congress.  These proposals should be relatively brief (5-10 pages maximum) and should include the following information:

·         A brief motivation on why you would like to host an iHEA congress – how would hosting the congress benefit the health economics community in your country and region

·         Background information on the health economics institution(s) that would host the congress, including brief biographies (250 words maximum) of established health economics academics who would be able to contribute to the scientific program of the main congress and pre-congress programs

·         Proposed venue for the congress (convention center, hotel with conferencing facilities or university), including a description of the available facilities, demonstrating how they meet the space and equipment requirements outlined below and confirmation of the availability of these venues during the congress period (Saturday to Wednesday, preferably in the second week in July – 8-12 July 2023)

·         The number of delegates you would hope to attract to the congress given the venue capacity

·         A brief overview of delegate accommodation options in close proximity to the congress venue (e.g. bed capacity and price range of nearby hotels; low-cost alternatives to large hotels)

·         An indication of the proximity of the proposed congress venue to an international airport that has flights from and to a wide range of countries (please indicate which countries have direct flights to this airport)

·         An assessment of any visa requirements for your country and whether or not congress delegates will experience difficulties in securing visas

·         An indication of the costs of venues, IT/AV and catering (as described below) that will be incurred onsite for the main congress – you are not required to develop a detailed budget but rather to provide an estimate of these expenses

·         An indication of national organizations that could be approached to contribute to funding the congress, and particularly the extent of funding support offered by national convention bureaus

·         An indication of any significant risk factors that could affect the congress happening as proposed (e.g. factors that could result in the venue not being available, political factors, delegate safety concerns)

Please approach the iHEA Executive Director ( to discuss your interest in submitting a proposal and to obtain additional guidance in preparing an proposal.  Proposals should be submitted to by February 14, 2020.


Background information on iHEA congresses

Congress attendees and timing

iHEA congress generally attract delegates from over 70 countries.  The size of iHEA congresses has varied from around 1,200 to 1,800 delegates over the past decade, often influenced by the capacity of the facilities available in the host city.  iHEA places emphasis on quality of the scientific content of the congress rather than size.

Congresses usually take place as near to the second week in July as possible.  The main congress is held from Sunday evening to Wednesday, with pre-congress sessions on the Saturday and Sunday.

 Space and equipment requirements

A range of potential venues would be considered, including conference centers, or large hotels with conferencing facilities or universities that are able to meet the space requirements.  All parallel session rooms, poster display area and refreshment areas  should preferably be within a single building, or in two buildings within close  proximity of each other, and should have wheelchair access.  Generally, iHEA congresses require the following:

Registration area: An area with space for on-site registration, and tables for a small number of exhibitors and on which university members can display brochures for delegates’ information.

Refreshments, lunch and poster display area: Space for refreshments and lunch to be served and for delegates to network during these breaks.  It would be preferable if posters (minimum of 100 posters) can be displayed in the area where refreshments are served.

Plenary venue: Should be able to accommodate all delegates; the seating capacity of the venue available for plenary sessions usually determines the maximum registration capacity. The plenary venue should be in close proximity to the venue for parallel sessions, poster display and refreshment and lunch breaks.

Parallel session rooms: In general, at least 20 rooms, but preferably up to 25 rooms, with an average capacity of 50 to 80, are required.  There should also be at least one larger room (with a capacity of 200+).

Computer laboratory/Speaker ready room: A room with several computers is required where delegates can load up their presentations for distribution to individual venues.

Office and meeting space: A room suitable for use by the organizing team should also be available, as well as a room where up to 20-25 people can meet.

Technology requirements: All plenary and parallel session venues should be equipped with a networked computer, data projector, screen and microphone(s).  There should be the capacity for centralized internet distribution of Powerpoint and PDF files from the computer laboratory to individual parallel session rooms.  There should also be high-speed wireless access to the internet for all congress delegates. 

Food and beverage and social events

Mid-morning and mid-afternoon refreshments and lunch are provided to all delegates during the main congress.  Depending on availability of funds, one or more social events may be held during the congress and generally includes an opening reception and an event on the Tuesday evening.


Securing sponsorships is important to assist in covering the costs of the congress and ensuring affordable registration fees.  Local hosts play an important role in identifying organizations based in their country and region who are likely to be willing to assist in covering core congress costs, including social events.


Board Elections
Upcoming iHEA Board Elections

There will shortly be an election for two positions on the iHEA Board: a member-elected Director and the President-Elect.  The Nominating Committee proactively identified possible candidates and issued an open call for nominations from iHEA members.  The candidates, listed in alphabetical order, are as follows:

  • Audrey Laporte
  • Richard Smith
Member-Elected Board Director
  • John Cullinan
  • Claire de Oliveira
  • Eeshani Kandpal
  • Ceu Mateus
  • Shiko Maruyama
  • Meredith Rosenthal
  • Aparnaa Somanathan
  • Eline van den Broek
We thank the Nominating Committee, which played the central role in attracting this impressive group of candidates.


We urge all our members to review the candidates’ election statements and CVs, engage with the candidates in the online forum over the next few weeks, and vote between November 18th and 27th.  To access the online forums, simply login to the iHEA website with your username and password, click on the “quick links” dropdown at the top of the page and click on ‘forums’!


All iHEA members will receive an email with details on how to vote when the voting system opens.


Given that there are eight candidates for the single Director position, we will again be using what is known as the “instant-runoff-voting” system, which allows members to rank their preferences for candidates, in this case from 1 to 8.  In terms of this voting system, the person with the least “rank 1” votes in the first round is removed from consideration and their votes will be distributed to the remaining candidates according to the “rank 2” preference.  This process is repeated until there is one candidate with a majority of votes, who will be declared the member-elected director.

referential Balloting Flow Chart

If you are not currently an iHEA member but would like to have a say on who should serve on iHEA's most important governance structure and who iHEA's future President should be ... why not join now !
SIG News
Launch of new SIG: Equity Informative Economic Evaluation
There is a growing awareness amongst health economists that many decision makers are interested in both the efficiency and equity implications of their health policies. Health economists across the world are responding to this informational need by developing methodological and empirical work which is able to demonstrate the distribution of health impacts. The special organised session at iHEA congress in Basel 2019 ("Health Equity: Economic Evaluations shouldn't just be about efficiency") provided a snapshot of some of the most recent work in the field. An overview of different methodological approaches was provided by Professor Richard Cookson before some applied work was shared from a UK and South Africa context. Dr Susan Griffen provided examples of how the equity impact plane can demonstrate the trade-off between net health gain and reducing health inequality. This was applied to public health guidelines endorsed by the National Institute of health and Care Excellence (NICE) in England. Dr Ijeoma Edoka introduced some of the complications around applying international guidelines for a rubella vaccine programme in South Africa. In particular the dependence of intervention success on factors including birth rate, disease transmission, vaccination coverage, and extent of random mixing. Factors which significantly vary between socioeconomic groups in South Africa. They are planning to complete an extended cost-effectiveness analysis of this policy which enables both cost and health to be disaggregated across income quintiles as well as specifying the inclusion of financial risk protection. The full recording can be found here.

Building on the momentum of this workshop a special interest group has been launched to specifically look at how we, as a global community of health economists, can continue to develop the field. This group will develop and synthesise methods, network to enable international collaboration, share information on publications, projects and training, and engage with expertise from other academic disciplines and the policy sphere. Our first activity will be a survey of members to uncover the expertise and objectives of the group members. We welcome all members and hope to create a group that is internationally diverse, reflecting the interests of both LMICs and HICs. The survey results will inform our regular activities which are likely to include an email distribution list, webinars and congress events as a minimum. If you are interested in joining this special interest group please click here.

Thank you,

Richard Cookson, Ijeoma Edoka, Naomi Gibbs, Andrew Mirelman, Stephane Verguet,

Message from: Health Financing for Universal Coverage' SIG
Next Steps on UHC: Moving Forward from the G20 and the Hight-level Meeting on UHC
Members may be interested in this report on Universal Health Coverage
"On September 24, the morning after the landmark UN High-Level Meeting on UHC, the Japan Center for International Exchange (JCIE) and the United Nations Foundation convened senior policymakers and global health experts for a closed roundtable at the UNAIDS New York office to discuss what the next steps should be to advance UHC in low- and middle-income countries around the world...." Check out the
10 steps to advancing UHC identified by them. Health financing is front and centre.
iHEA Webinars
Assessing country UHC performance relative to spending: a DEA investigation 

Friday, November 29 at 8:00 AM ET (check your timezone 
Topics Covered:
  • the methodology used to assess how well countries performance (UHC) relative to levels of spending;
  • the results from the analysis of 83 low and middle income countries.
Presentation and discussion:
  • "Motivation and approach to the efficiency analysis: why this study?" Matthew Jowett, PhD.
  • "Good performance at low spending levels and vice versa: an overview of the results and key messages:" Gabriela Flores, PhD.
  • Q&A:  Moderated by Elina Dale, PhD, Health Financing Technical Officer, WHO Geneva.
Matthew Jowett, PhD. Senior Health Financing Specialist, Dept. Health Systems Governance & Financing, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.
Gabriela Flores, PhD. Health Economist, Economic Analysis and Evaluation (EAE), Health Systems and Innovation, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.

University Member News
LSE - NICE MSc programme, April 2020 start
The Executive MSc in Evaluation of Health Care Interventions and Outcomes delivers training in health services research, health economics, health outcomes research and health policy, designed to further develop your skills in advisory, management, and leadership roles across the health sector. 
The programme has been developed in collaboration with the Scientific Advice team at the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), known internationally for the scientific rigour of its approach to evaluating the effectiveness and value of medicines, medical technologies, treatments and interventions.

Drawing on the expertise from NICE, combined with the academic excellence of the London School of Economics and Political Science, the programme gives students the opportunity to learn from world-leading academics and experts in the field.

Over two years, the courses will be delivered in four intensive two-week teaching blocks at the London School of Economics and Political Science, which allows you to complete the degree alongside full-time work.

For more information about the programme, including the entry requirements, visit the LSE website or contact us at Apply now to secure your place for April 2020.

Become a University Member to Access Additional Member Benefits!
In the last year, iHEA made changes to its University Membership structure and benefits. In addition to various congress-related benefits, university members' training programs are featured on a dedicated page on the iHEA website, feature articles on university members will be published in the monthly newsletter and university members are entitled to advertise employment and postdoctoral fellowship opportunities on the iHEA job board and Twitter account at no cost.

To learn more about University Membership benefits, please click here.

Career Center 
The iHEA Career Center allows you to post your job openings and fellowships, find potential candidates and search new positions. It is open to members and non-members alike. You are able to search by Keyword, Country, Organization, Job category and more. We encourage everyone to click here to view this wonderful resource. We do hope that you utilize this tool and should you have any questions, please reach out to

Stay Connected
Please click here to access the SocialLink user guide. We hope that this guide will give members a better idea on how they can best use SocialLink, our member community and networking app, to connect with other members and engage with our Special Interest Groups. We will continue to build out the FAQ section of SocialLink, but if you have any questions please reach out to us at
If you have anything you would like to contribute to future newsletters, please email us at


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The International Health Economics Association was formed to increase communication among health economists, foster a higher standard of debate in the application of economics to health and health care systems, and assist young researchers at the start of their careers.

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