Health System Modelling Research: Towards a Whole-Health-System Perspective for Identifying Good Value for Money Investments in Health System Strengthening
Global health research has typically focused on single diseases, and most economic evaluation research to date has analysed technical health interventions to identify ‘best buys’. New approaches in the conduct of economic evaluations are needed to help policymakers in choosing what may be good value (ie, greater health, distribution of health, or financial risk protection) for money (ie, per budget expenditure) investments for health system strengthening (HSS) that tend to be programmatic.
Evaluating HSS inteventions
The researchers posit that these economic evaluations of HSS interventions will require developing new analytic models of health systems which recognize the dynamic connections between the different components of the health system, characterize the type and interlinks of the system’s delivery platforms; and acknowledge the multiple constraints both within and outside the health sector which limit the system’s capacity to efficiently attain its objectives.
HSS and NCDs
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), which often manifest with multiple conditions within the same patient, expose some of the inadequacies of health systems unprepared for the rapid epidemiological transition from communicable diseases to NCDs. Governments, international organisations and donors worldwide are concerned about rising costs of healthcare, coupled with inadequate performance of national health systems. Moreover, the rise in NCD burden has driven cost increases as more expensive therapies are needed for longer durations of treatment. Hence, many policymakers are concerned about improving efficiency and effectiveness of health systems.
The study describes priority health system modelling research areas to conduct economic evaluation of HSS interventions and ultimately identify good value for money investments in HSS.
Health system modelling (HSM) research should model the complex dynamics of health systems and ultimately guide a novel economic evaluation framework for analysing HSS interventions.