LEADING health economist, John Forbes has been appointed h as professor of health economics at the University of Limerick and will lead a €1.5 million programme of research into the economics of personalised health.
A member of the American Economic Association and the Royal Economic Society, Prof Forbes’ appointment has been supported by the Health Research Board (HRB). According to Prof Forbes this research programme will develop and apply better ways of assessing the health and economic consequences of new and existing health technologies where personalised care is feasible and desirable.
Explaining the significance of an economic perspective on personalised health, Prof Forbes commented: “Advances in science have increased the prospect of diagnosing, treating and preventing illness in a more personal way. Improved understanding of how individuals may benefit from tailored therapies will permit a better match and more informed choice by users and health care professionals. Opportunities to design and deliver better services that are sensitive to the needs of particular groups are widespread.”
“The economic and health issues are genuine and deserve the application of modern methods used by economists to determine ways of improving health and welfare in Ireland. This research will aim to strengthen public interest in personalised health so that the positive effects of investing in these innovative approaches will be shared more wisely and fairly for everyone,” he said.
Vice President of Research at UL, Dr Mary Shire welcomed the announcement of Prof Forbes’ appointment. “Now more than ever as a society we appreciate the need for, but also the costs of, the provision of innovative health technologies. Prof Forbes brings a very relevant skill set that will enhance our understanding of the economics of making these innovate and potentially lifesaving technologies available to patients. His appointment will support the university’s commitment to enhancing the health service provision in Ireland.”
Prof Michael Larvin, Head of the Graduate Entry Medical School at UL also welcomed Prof Forbes’ appointment; “Health Economics has recently taken on greater importance, given the rising trend towards more effective personalised healthcare as well as the planned reorganisation of Irish health services. I am certain that Professor Forbes will make a tremendous contribution to health service research across UL and our HSE partners, as well as more widely. We are extremely fortunate to have attracted a researcher of such calibre and experience to the University.”