Health Economics Program

The Health Economics Program within C2E2 brings economics perspectives and thinking to practice and policy in the health care sector in BC and Canada.

Health economics can be thought of in two ways. First, it provides a set of analytic techniques to assist decision making, usually in the health care sector, to promote efficiency and equity. Second, it provides a way of thinking about health and health care resource use; introducing a thought process that recognizes scarcity and the need to make choices.

Work within this program includes cost-effectiveness analyses, measurement and valuation of health outcomes, and research on health service organization and policy. In this program we seek a balance between applied work, where the focus is informing practice and policy, and methodological investigation, which aims to guide future research methods.  

Objectives

The Health Economics Program has two primary objectives: (1) to foster the use of health economics methods and findings across all levels of health care decision-making; and (2) to conduct leading edge methodological research in the field of health economics to advance the science of the discipline.

In all of our activity we have a strong commitment to effective and integrated knowledge translation, and in this actively seek to establish lasting collaborations between researchers at the Centre and health sector decision makers/clinicians.  

Overview

Cost-effectiveness analyses across a variety of clinical settings, e.g.:

  • Respiratory illness (asthma, COPD, TB, sleep apnea)
  • Falls prevention, older adults
  • Dementia
  • Child obesity
  • Child pedestrian injuries
  • Public health services

Health care decision making

  • Priority setting and resource allocation
  • Multi-criteria decision analysis
  • Patient reported outcome measurement
  • Health Technology Assessment 

Methods development

  • Quantitative and qualitative approaches to advance decision making
  • Methods of outcomes measurement
  • Methods of performance assessment
  • Methods of knowledge translation and knowledge exchange 

Program Lead

Craig Mitton, Senior Scientist

Dr. Mitton’s research is focused on the application of health economics to impact health policy and to inform clinical practice. He has worked extensively with health authorities in numerous countries on the development and implementation of priority setting and resource allocation processes. Specific areas of interest include the use of evidence to support health care decision making, public involvement in priority setting, and mechanisms for knowledge transfer. He is the lead author on a book titled “The Priority Setting Toolkit: a guide to the use of economics in health care priority setting” and is the lead or co-author on more than 130 peer reviewed journal articles. In addition, he has delivered over 150 presentations across many different countries and regularly runs workshops and short courses on health economics and health care priority setting. In 2015, he was awarded a Killam Teaching Prize from the University of British Columbia. Dr. Mitton is a Professor in the School of Population and Public Health and Senior Scientist at the Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Evaluation.