*
*
*
*Victoria Institute of
*Strategic Economic Studies
*
 
*
*
 
 
*  Home  *  Research Programs  *  Events  *  Staff  *  Students  *  Publications  *  Contact  *
*
*
*
 
  *  
 

HEALTH

Current Projects

APEC Health Financing
Investigator: Prof. Bruce Rasmussen (VISES)
Funding by: APEC
Description: Bruce Rasmussen was nominated as LSIF Executive Board Member at the Senior Finance Officials’ Meeting (SFOM) in Lima Peru in October 2016, where he was invited to present on financing options for investing in health. He has also been invited to attend and present at the APEC Senior Finance Official’s Meeting at Ninh Binh, Vietnam, 18-19 May, where senior officials will discuss recent economic and financial development  including key issues and risks for APEC economies and appropriate policy responses.  Session topics include implementation of the Cebu Action Plan, long-term investment in infrastructure, base erosion and profit sharing, fiscal and economic impacts of ill-health, disaster risk financing, and financial inclusion and promote finance access in supporting sustainable agro and rural development.

Presentations:
Rasmussen, B. 2017, ‘Ways to Address the Fiscal and Economic Impacts of Ill-Health’, presentation to the APEC Senior Finance Official’s Meeting, Session 5: Joint Discussion Between SFOM and HWG/LSIF Ninh Binh, Vietnam, 18-19 May 2017.
Rasmussen, B. 2016, ‘Health as an Investment: Measuring Value to Create Financing Options’, presentation to APEC Senior Finance Officials’ Meeting “Strengthening Public Policy for an Integrated and Resilient Asia-Pacific Region”, Session 4: LSIF And HWG Work on Fiscal and Economic Impacts of Ill Health, Lima, Peru, 13 October 2016.

Recent Projects

Investment in Improving Health, Education and other Outcomes for Adolescents
Investigators: Prof. Peter Sheehan (VISES), Prof. Bruce Rasmussen (VISES), Dr Kim Sweeny (VISES), Prof. Pauline Rose (Cambridge University), Prof. George Patton (University of Melbourne), Dr Babette Wils (Independent Consultant), Mr Eric Howard (Whiting Moyne P/L), Professor Angela Taft (Judith Lumley Centre, LaTrobe University)
Funding by: United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
Funding 2015: US$200,000
Description: To document the return to interventions to improve the welfare of adolescents aged 10-19 years in 74 developing countries around the world, for a period to 2035. The investigators identified a range of interventions to estimate their cost and their like impact in terms of adolescent outcomes, estimated the economic and social benefits flowing from these improved adolescent outcomes, and brought together the annual flows of costs and benefits out 2035 on a net present value basis.

It was found that investing in adolescent health and education could bring 10-fold economic benefit. This generation of young people can transform all our futures. There is no more pressing task in global health than ensuring they have the resources to do so. There are 1.8 billion adolescents in the world today – the largest generation of adolescents in the world’s history. Investments in adolescent health and wellbeing will not only transform the lives of girls and boys around the world, but will also generate high economic returns, especially in low income countries. The analysis and results were published in The Lancet on 2 April 2017. On 20 April 2017, the World Bank discussed adolescents as part of their flagship event at the Spring Meetings in Washington DC (details here). Copies of the Lancet Adolescent Health Commission paper and The Lancet investment case paper were available at the event.

Output journal article:
Sheehan, P., Sweeny, K., Rasmussen, B. et al. 2017, Building the foundations for sustainable development: A case for global investment in the capabilities of adolescents, Lancet, online 20 April 2017, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(17)30872-3.
Sheehan, P., Sweeny, K., Rasmussen, B. et al. 2017, Supplementary Appendix to Building the foundations for sustainable development: A case for global investment in the capabilities of adolescents, Lancet, online 20 April 2017.
Lancet
Media Release on 'Building the foundations for sustainable development'.

Supporting paper:
Wils, A. 2015, Education, Marriage and Adolescent Welfare: Challenges, Programs and Projections, Supporting Paper to the UNFPA Project UNFPAUSA/14/037 Investment in Improving Health, Education and other Outcomes for Adolescents, VISES, Victoria University, December.

Health and Productivity
Investigators: Bruce Rasmussen, Kim Sweeny and Peter Sheehan
Funded by: US Chamber of Commerce
Funding 2015: $197,316
Description: The project comprised four studies. The first focussed on a review of the pension systems for each of six economies (Australia, Japan, Malaysia, Peru, the Philippines and the United States) and the generation of likely scenarios modelled to determine the effect of reducing early retirement due to ill health, through proven, cost effective, general and workplace interventions aimed at specific causes of ill health. The second study extended the first study and provided estimates of the economic cost of early retirement due to ill health for 10 economies (Brazil, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, Poland, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Turkey). The third study investigated the impact of health on worker attendance and productivity, and documents the limited information available on the current prevalence and expected future incidence of key NCDs for 12 economies (Brazil, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Turkey). The fourth study provided estimates of the economic cost due to productivity losses arising from absenteeism, presenteeism and early retirement due to ill health in Brazil. Findings of this report was presented to the Brazil-US Chamber of Commerce at a conference in Brazilia.

Reports:
Rasmussen, B., Sweeny, K. and Sheehan, P. 2015, Cost of Early Retirement Due to Ill Health, Report to the APEC Business Advisory Council and US Chamber of Commerce, VISES, Victoria University, Melbourne, July.
Rasmussen, B., Sweeny, K. and Sheehan, P. 2015, Cost of Early Retirement Due to Ill Health: Phase II Countries, Report to the APEC Business Advisory Council and US Chamber of Commerce, VISES, Victoria University, Melbourne, October.
Sweeny, K., Rasmussen, B. and Sheehan, P. 2015, The Impact of Health on Worker Attendance and Productivity in Twelve Countries, Report to the APEC Business Advisory Council and US Chamber of Commerce, VISES, Victoria University, Melbourne, October.
Rasmussen, B., Sweeny, K. and Sheehan, P. 2015, Economic Costs of Absenteeism, Presenteeism and Early Retirement Due to Ill Health: A Focus on Brazil, Report to the Brazil-US Business Council, the US Chamber of Commerce and the APEC Business Advisory Council, VISES, Victoria University, Melbourne, November.
Rasmussen, B. 2015, ‘Economic Costs of Absenteeism, Presenteeism and Early Retirement Due to Ill Health: A Focus on Brazil’, presented at the Conference on the Impact of Health and Productivity, Brazil-US Chamber of Commerce, Brazilia, 8 December 2015.

Scaling-Up Depression Treatment: A Return on Investment
Chief investigators: Dan Chisholm (WHO); and Kim Sweeny, Bruce Rasmussen and Peter Sheehan (VISES); in collaboration with the Trimbos Institute, Utrecht, The Netherlands and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Funded by: World Health Organisation (WHO) and Mitchell Institute
Funding 2015: $68,213
Description: Depression and anxiety disorders are highly prevalent and disabling conditions, which not only result in an enormous amount of human misery and lost health, but also lost economic output. This study sets out the global investment case for a scaled-up response to the public health and economic burden of depression and anxiety disorders.
Output journal article: Chisholm, D., Sweeny, K., Sheehan, P., Rasmussen, B., Smit, F., Cuijpers, P. and Saxena, S. 2015, ‘Scaling-up treatment of depression and anxiety: A global return on investment analysis’, Lancet Psychiatry, online
April 12, 2016, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2215-0366(16)30024-4

Measurement Framework for Economic and Social Costs of NCDs
Investigators: Melanie Bertram, Jeremy Lauer and Dan Chisholm (WHO), Kim Sweeny, Peter Sheehan and Bruce Rasmussen (VISES), in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, Nepal, WHO, Nepal and Ministry of Health, Barbados
Funded by: WHO and Mitchell Institute
Funding 2015: $56,202
Description: As the burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) continues to rise, there is an urgent need to estimate the costs and benefits of an investment strategy related to the prevention and control of NCDs. Results from an investment-case analysis can provide important new evidence to governments and donors for use in decision making. This study uses the OneHealth Tool cardiovascular disease cost and impact modules to calculate the health benefits and costs of scaling up a package of prevention and treatment interventions for CVD from 2015-2030. Economic benefits were then calculated, in terms of increased workforce participation and productivity and the economic benefits of increased healthy life expectancy.

Output journal article:
Bertram, M.Y., Sweeny, K., Lauer, J.A., Chisholm, D., Sheehan, P., Rasmussen, B., Upreti, S.R., Dixit, L.P., George, K. and Deane, S. 2015, ‘Investing in non-communicable diseases: Estimation of the economic and social benefits of scaled-up systems and services’, submitted to The Lancet.

PBS Modelling
Investigator: Kim Sweeny
Funded by: Medicines Australia
Funding 2015: $20,000
Description: This study estimates the savings to the Commonwealth Government arising from the introduction of the Simplified Price Disclosure (SPD) arrangements for medicines listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
Report: Sweeny, K. 2015, ‘The Impact of Simplified Price Disclosure on the PBS and Changes to Mandatory Price Cut Levels’, Draft Report to Medicines Australia, VISES, Victoria University, Melbourne, January.

The Mitchell Health and Education Indicators Project Youth Transition Pathways
Investigators: Bruce Rasmussen, Peter Sheehan, Neelam Maharaj and Alison Welsh, in collaboration with Prof. Frank Lichtenberg (Columbia University)
Funded by: The Mitchell Institute for Health and Education Policy
Funding 2013-2014: $150,000
Description: To develop a set of health and education indicators reflective of population health and education pathways to outcomes.
Other partners: Public Health Information Development Unit, University of Adelaide and Brimbank City Council

Discussion papers:
Rasmussen, B. and Maharaj, N. 2014, ‘The Mitchell Institute Health and Education Indicators: Conceptual Foundations’, VISES Discussion Paper, Victoria University, Melbourne.
Maharaj, N. 2015, ‘Evidence of Health and Education in Early Childhood Across the Life Course’, VISES Discussion Paper, Victoria University, Melbourne.
Rasmussen, B. and Welsh, A. 2014, ‘Youth Transition Pathways’, VISES Discussion Paper, Victoria University, Melbourne.
Rasmussen, B. 2015, ‘Family Formation’, VISES Discussion Paper, Victoria University, Melbourne.
Maharaj, N. 2015, ‘Evidence of Health and Education in Prime Age Across the Life Course’, VISES Discussion Paper, Victoria University, Melbourne.

Treatment of Mental Health: With a Focus on Comorbidity
Investigators: Dr Kim Sweeny and Dr Hui Shi
Funded by: Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists and Mitchell Institute
Funding 2015: $60,000
Description: A study on the estimation of various aspects of the economic impact of the combined burden of co-morbid physical and chronic mental illnesses for Australia and New Zealand. This involved a set of direct and indirect costs of treatment and range of opportunity costs for the individual and society.

Report:
Sweeny, K. and Shi, H. 2016, ‘The Economic Cost of Serious Mental Illness and Comorbidities in Australia and New Zealand’, Report prepared for The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, VISES, Victoria University, Melbourne, 48 pp.

Investing in Maternal, Newborn and Child Health: Analysis of the Costs, Benefits and Returns
Investigators: Peter Sheehan, Bruce Rasmussen and Kim Sweeny
Funding by: The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH), World Health Organization (WHO), Geneva
Funding 2013: $55,290
Description:  Study on the returns to large scale investments in reproductive, maternal and child health for a large number of countries.

Report:
Stenberg, K. et al. 2013, 'The Economic Benefits of Investing in Women’s and Children’s Health', PMNCH Knowledge Summary 24, PMNCH, 4 pp.
Journal article: Stenberg, K. et al. 2014, 'Advancing social and economic development by investing in women's and children's health: A new global investment framework', The Lancet, vol. 383, no. 9925, pp. 1333-1354.

Returns on Investment in the Continuum of Care for Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health
Investigators: Kim Sweeny and Peter Sheehan
Funded by: Disease Control Network
Funded 2013-2014
Description: An extension of the study on the returns to large scale investments in in reproductive, maternal and child health for a large number of countries (see details above).

Output book chapter:
Stenberg, K., Sweeny, K., Axelson, H., Temmerman, M. and Sheehan, P. 2015, ‘Returns on investment in the continuum of care for reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health’, in R. Black, M. Temmerman, R. Laxminarayan and N. Walker (eds), Disease Control Priorities, 3rd Edition (DCP3) - Volume 2 on Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health (RMNCH), chap. 16, Department of Global Health, University of Washington and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, Washington DC.

The Impact of Health on Worker Attendance and Productivity in the APEC Region
Investigators: Peter Sheehan, Bruce Rasmussen, Kim Sweeny, Neelam Maharaj and Margarita Kumnick
Funded by: APEC Business Advisory Council Secretariat and US PhRMA
Funding 2014: $70,000
Description: Estimates the potential economic gains from reducing poor health on worker attendance and productivity in 6 APEC countries (China, Peru, Malaysia, Philippines, Australia and USA).

Report:
Sheehan, P., Rasmussen, B. and Sweeny, K. 2014, 'The Impact of Health on Worker Attendance and Productivity in the APEC Region', report to APEC Business Advisory Council, VISES, Victoria University, Melbourne, July, 45 pp.

Project page including working files.

The Influence of Childhood Circumstances on Adult Health
Investigators: Kim Sweeny
Funded by: Mitchell Institute for Health and Education Policy
Funding 2014: $15,000
Description: A review of research on the social determinants of health, the influence of childhood and maternal health and socioeconomic and other status on future adult health. Includes a review of economic evaluations of policies to mitigate these influences.

Report:
Sweeny, K. 2014, 'The Influence of Childhood Circumstances on Adult Health', Draft Report to The Mitchell Institute for Health and Education Policy, VISES, Victoria University, Melbourne, March, 19 pp.

Economic Evaluation of the Impact of the Pharmacogenomics Decision Support System
Investigator: Kim Sweeny
Funded by: Gene FX Health Pty Ltd
Funding 2013-2014: $51,400
Description: An economic evaluation of the impact of the pharmacogenenomics decision support system (PDSS).

Report:
Sweeny, K. 2014, 'Pharmacogenomic Proof of Concept Study: Economic Analysis', Report to Gene FX Health Pty Ltd, VISES, Victoria University, Melbourne.

The Impact of Further PBS Reforms
Investigator: Kim Sweeny
Funded by: Medicines Australia
Funding 2012: $59,091 + $5000

Report:
Sweeny, K. 2013, The Impact of Further PBS Reforms, April, 29 pp.
Sweeny, K. 2013, The Impact of Further PBS Reforms: Further Modelling with Different Assumptions about Biological Medicines, May, 13 pp.

Investing in Maternal, Newborn and Child Health: A Preliminary Analysis of the Costs, Benefits and Returns
Investigators: Peter Sheehan, Bruce Rasmussen and Kim Sweeny; in collaboration with Karin Stenberg (WHO), John Beard (WHO) and Henrik Axelson (PMNCH)
Funding by: The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH), World Health Organization (WHO), Geneva and APEC Technical Assistance and Training Facility (TATF)
Funding 2012: $29,000
Description: A study prepared for the APEC High-Level Meeting on Health and the Economy, at St Petersburg in June 2012. It investigates in a preliminary way, the costs and benefits of large scale investment in health innovation in relation to reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health for six APEC economies: China, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines and Vietnam.

Report:
Sheehan, P., Sweeny, K., Rasmussen, B. and World Health Organization (WHO) 2012, ‘Investing in Maternal, Newborn and Child Health: Analysis of the Costs, Benefits and Returns’, study prepared for the LSIF APEC High-Level Meeting on Health and the Economy, St Petersburg, 27 June 2012.


Contact:

Kim Sweeny, Principal Research Fellow, VISES, Kim.Sweeny@vu.edu.au