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Health Systems' Efficiency


Overall performance of a health system measures how well a country achieves a desired level and distribution of population health, appropriateness and responsiveness, and distribution of access and fairness in financing of the health system simultaneously, relative to the maximum it could be expected to achieve, given its current level of health resources and non-health system determinants. Evaluation of the effectiveness of health systems faces two important challenges: quantifying goals and objectives so that outcomes can be measured; and computing inputs in a way that resources can be directed towards (some of) them, for achieving those objectives. Further, a wide variation in cultural, social, environmental and economic characteristics of the population produces a large amount of unmeasured heterogeneity. We encourage discussion to develop insights on ‘Health systems’ efficiency’ while taking into account national realities, capacities and levels of development within policy space and priorities.


What is the 'Health Systems' Efficiency' Special Interest Group (EFFSIG)?

The EFFSIG brings together health economists, public health experts and professionals from different health systems of different economies, whatever their level of economic development. EFFSIG members are the professional interface with their respective country health systems. The EFFSIG endeavors not only to share best policy practices and processes of different health systems but also remains committed to the advancement of methodologies for examining health systems’ performance and to the development of future-ready knowledge base for different health systems. The EFFSIG further aspires to be a conduit between iHEA members/ researchers in health economics and different country governments for evidence-informed health system development. 


EFFSIG Objectives

The aim of EFFSIG is to generate policy relevant evidence for resource allocation that affect equity and efficiency of public spending on different health systems.

The specific objectives are to

  1. provide a forum for stimulating debate and discussions on methods appropriate for measuring performance of different health systems (within and between);
  2. collaboratively develop different context specific framework for measuring health system’s efficiency;
  3. critically examine diverse insights, methodological significance, and normative implications in the topic of health system’s efficiency;
  4. interpret health systems’ performance data and disseminate into actionable policy development process;
  5. create avenues for research uptake in policy development; and
  6. develop local capacity with global perspectives for examining health systems’ efficiency.


EFFSIG Activities

For realising the objectives, our start-up activities include

  1. hosting online webinars (3 times in a year) on the theme for the scientific community and professionals;
  2. organizing virtual visits with the members of SIG who validate model with country specific data from a range of different contexts;
  3. uploading international databases for research on measuring health system’s efficiency - within and between countries ;
  4. creating metadata and harmonising datasets for replicating analysis in different country contexts;
  5. presenting a short summary (from high standing academic literature) on the theme at a definite interval to iHEA newsletter;
  6. organising regular scientific discourse on methodological applications and on alignment of health systems’ performance with SDG achievements (Goal 3.8) in partnership with country specific higher education institution for development of the local expertise.

Further, we are developing a digital repository of case studies on the theme.

We also offer our expertise to early career researcher (s) for pre-submission review of scientific article (s) on the theme, and organise (1) pre-congress session and / or (2) training workshops on the theme at the biennial iHEA congress.

EFFSIG Coveners
  1. Prof. Bruno Ventelou, PhD., Aix-Marseille Université, France – Convener (Chair);
  2. Pavitra Paul, PhD. – Co-convener [];
  3. Prof. Nina Agabekova, PhD., Belarus State Economic University, Belarus – Co-convener. 


Joining the EFFSIG

Membership is open to iHEA members who are working and/or studying on the theme (in the field). Membership can be requested by logging in to the iHEA web page, selecting the "groups" section and clicking "request to join"  ‘Health systems’ efficiency’ Special Interest Group (EFFSIG). Membership is welcome (approved) by the conveners of EFFSIG.


EFFSIG Membership Privileges/Benefits

  • Enter the ‘Health systems’ efficiency’ Special Interest Group (EFFSIG) resource area of the iHEA website.
  • Access to the data including metadata (periodically updated) from different health systems for conducting studies (individual or within the group) on the theme.
  • Receive a short summary (from high standing academic literature) on the theme in periodic newsletters.
  • Profiling own work with EFFSIG pre-congress sessions, workshops and organised sessions of iHEA to achieve synergies across Health systems’ efficiency studies.
  • Opportunity for networking among Health systems’ efficiency researchers from different health systems, and also use opportunities to update your junior colleagues with developments on the theme by live telecasting webinars in your conference room / seminar hall.   
  • Be the virtual faculty, contribute to and participate in Webinars with topics ranging from methodological advancements to work in progress, presented by early career researchers and experts in the specialty. 
  • Possibilities to find platform to present your work in different country / city / institute.
  • Finding new research collaborators, new PhD students, mentors or Supervisors. 

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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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