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News & Press: iHEA News

iHEA News - February 2020

Monday, March 2, 2020   (0 Comments)
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International Health Economics Association
iHEA News is the official newsletter of the International Health Economics Association.
To access a full version PDF of this newsletter, please click here.
Video of pre-congress session from 2019 Congress now available!
The Tenth Anniversary of China's Health Care Reform: Global Lessons for Universal Health Coverage
In April 2009, China launched a huge and complex healthcare reform with the goal to provide all its citizens with access to equitable and quality basic health care by 2020. The initial phase of the reform focused on health insurance expansion and infrastructure building. The second phase turned its attention to reforming the healthcare delivery system. Ten years after the reform, much progress has been achieved but significant challenges remain, including the changing needs of an ageing population and an increase in the non-communicable disease burden. This video includes presentations and discussion that empirically examine the achievements and challenges of the reform, analyze the underlying causes and draw global lessons.
The video can be viewed in two parts: Part 1 | Part 2. Both links are available on the iHEA website here alongside the other session recordings.
Article based on plenary session just published in Health Economics


Child health is increasingly understood to be a critical form of human capital, but only recently have we begun to understand how valuable it is and how its development could be better supported. This article provides an overview of recent work that demonstrates the key role of public insurance in supporting longer term human capital development and points to improvements in child mental health as an especially important mechanism.
SIG News
Early Career Researcher (ECR) SIG
Early Career Researcher Interview Series: Interview 8 with Véra Zabrodina
The Early Career Researcher Interview Series is an initiative led by the iHEA Early Career Researcher Special Interest Group (ECR-SIG). The aim of this interview series is to showcase the diversity of people in the ECR subgroup in iHEA. By interviewing a variety of ECRs, we hope to describe the many interesting and emerging career paths available to ECRs in health economics, highlight the choices that individuals have made to help them to reach this point in their career, and reveal how ECRs are navigating the various challenges that they face.
The eighth interview of this series is with Véra Zabrodina. Véra is a PhD student in Applied Economics at the Faculty of Business and Economics at the University of Basel. Her research interest is in understanding the trade-off in risk protection and incentives in social insurance, particularly in the health and labor markets. Angela Esi Micah and James Buchanan, two of the conveners of the ECR-SIG, spoke to Véra in January 2020 to discuss her career to date.
To read Véra's interview, click here.
In Memorium
Remembering Teh-wei Hu
iHEA is deeply saddened by the news that Dr. Teh-wei Hu, health care economist and professor emeritus at Berkeley's School of Public Health, passed away on February 3, 2020. He was a long-standing iHEA member and served on the iHEA Board of Directors from 2004-2006.
Born in Shanghai and raised in Taiwan, Hu moved to the United States in 1961, where he worked at the World Bank and earned a PhD in econometrics at the University of Wisconsin in 1967. He then became a professor of economics at Pennsylvania State University, where he first applied econometrics to the health sector to evaluate the state welfare system's child health spending. 
This launched a 50-year career as a health care economist. On the East Coast, he worked as an advisor for the National Institute of Mental Health, published reports on the financial impacts of senile dementia, and studied the health and economic repercussions of the 1979 Three Mile Island incident.
For much of his career at UC Berkeley, Hu researched the economic and health benefits of tobacco taxes. In 1989, shortly after joining the faculty at UC Berkeley, he advised California policymakers on Proposition 99, which increased the tax on a pack of cigarettes to 25 cents. His research demonstrated that such a tax would cut smoking and its associated health outcomes, and would therefore reduce medical costs and increase revenue for smoking-related education and prevention programs. Fifteen years after the state passed Prop. 99, the tax had cut medical care costs in California by an estimated $86 billion.
Hu brought this research to China, where nearly a fourth of the country's population smokes, and advised Chinese health officials and policymakers to introduce its first tobacco tax in 2015. Throughout this work, Hu published multiple books and articles on tobacco policy in China and began advising former students and colleagues around the world on tobacco-related health policy and interventions. His influence soon began impacting research in Indonesia, Tanzania, and elsewhere. In 2011, the CDC appointed him to its Interagency Committee on Smoking and Health, and in 2014, the World Health Organization awarded him with a World No Tobacco Day award.
Beyond his work in tobacco policy, Hu will be remembered as a kind mentor and a passionate advocate. After retiring from teaching in 2004, he continued to advise students on their research and considered it a part of his mission to elevate their work for the good of public health. "We want to make a difference in the world and save lives," he recently said, referring to his team of colleagues and students. 
In December 2019, he published a four volume  edited series on health reforms in East Asia. It is a classic contribution to evidence based policy making and is available from World Scientific Press.
Teh's accomplishments made him a towering figure in public health and everyone who knew him understood what a caring, helpful and modest person he was. 
Hu will be missed by his friends in the Berkeley Public Health community and beyond. He joins in spirit Tien-hwa, his wife of 54 years. Hu is survived by his sons Cheney and Jim, daughter-in-law Connie, and grandson Justin.
Richard Scheffler
All previously held webinars can be viewed on the iHEA website here.

Most recent webinars:

Friday, February 21, 2020
Trajectories of Care at the End of Life: Implications for Health Systems with Ageing Populations
: Heather McLeod
Presented by the Economics of Palliative and End-of-Life Care SIG (EPEC)

Thursday, February 20, 2020
Leveraging DICE Simulation for Modelling Obesity
: J. Jamie Caro, MDCM FRCPC FACP
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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