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Global Leadership Series: Is health care a luxury? What drives health expenditure?

Thu 23 Feb 2017 6:00pm8:00pm
This event has sold out.


Customs House, 399 Queen St, Brisbane

Australia’s ageing population presents major challenges to the health sector however it is not the main source of health expenditure growth. An increase in technological innovation is a driving force behind rising health care costs and together with income growth, population age and the widespread availability of insurance, Australia faces a major expenditure challenge.

The Australian Treasury estimates that in the absence of disruption to current trends, health expenditure will increase from its current level—which is just over 9% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP)—to more than 27% of GDP by 2050. This Global Leadership Series event will explore the opportunities and challenges faced by the Australian health sector and provide suggested solutions to enable Australia to innovate in the prevention and treatment of illness, while containing costs.


Image of Professor Luke ConnellyProfessor Luke Connelly 

Luke Connelly is Professor of Health Economics and Acting Director of the UQ Centre for the Business and Economics of Health and Affiliate Professor with the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health. He holds a BA(Econ), MEconSt and PhD in Economics from The University of Queensland. His main interests are in health economics and insurance economics and the effects of institutions (including legal constructs) on incentives and behaviour. He has also worked in other fields of applied microeconomics, including education economics and transport economics.

Luke serves as a member of the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC), which advises the Australian Minister for Health on the safety, effectiveness, and cost-effectiveness of new and extant listings on Australia's Medicare Benefits Schedule. He has extensive service on other public committees and task forces as well as extensive teaching and consulting engagements with industry. Over the past 10 years he has been a chief investigator on research grants and contracts totalling more than $32m.


Image of Professor Brenda GannonProfessor Brenda Gannon

Professor Brenda Gannon joined the Centre for Business and Economics of Health at The University of Queensland in 2016, as Mater Research Institute Chair in Health Economics. Brenda is an international expert in the field of health and ageing economics and health econometrics and has won over $20 million in collaborative research income with economics, medicine and social science with academic and industry. Her research carries a dual role, (1) as a methodologist (applied health economist and econometrician using big and complex data), utilising health economics theory and concepts to test the validity of causal hypotheses, (2) collaborator across all Faculties leading critical economic evaluations.

Brenda’s methodological econometrics work is currently funded by Australian Research Council Discovery Grant. She is the lead economist on two major new Randomised Control Trials in dementia and emergency care, funded by EU H2020 and Health Research Board Ireland, Feasibility Trials in falls funded by EU H2020, phase 1 trial research in diabetes and evidence synthesis in stroke funded by NIHR HS&DR. All studies incorporate methodological innovations and applied research. Brenda is currently an Expert Evaluator for the EU Commission funding applications and recently a member of the NIHR RfPB (Research for Patient Benefit) Advisory Committee.

Image of Professor Peter ZweifelProfessor Peter Zweifel

A native from Switzerland, Peter Zweifel has been a Professor of Economics at the University of Zurich until 2011, when he retired. Since 2013, he has been a visiting professor to the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna (Austria). Peter’s research and teaching covers health economics, insurance economics, law and economics, energy economics and international economics. Covering all these fields, he has published some 130 articles in international refereed journals and fifteen books.

Together with Mark Pauly (Wharton School), he was the founding editor of the International Journal of Health Care Finance and Economics (now the International Journal of Health Economics and Management). From 1996 to 2005, Peter served on the Swiss Competition Authority and on the Federal Committee for Energy Research.

Image of Dr Stephen BirchDr Stephen Birch

Dr Stephen Birch is a Professor in The Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis at McMaster University in Canada and visiting Chair in Health Economics at the University of Manchester.  He also holds visiting appointments at the University of Technology Sydney,  Australia and the University of Cape Town, South Africa.  He is senior scientist at the WHO Collaborating Centre on Health Workforce Planning at Dalhousie University, Canada and a former member of the UK Department of Health’s Centre for Workforce Intelligence.  He has served as a consultant with WHO and the World Bank as well as many national and provincial health departments on health workforce planning.  He was a consultant to the Barer-Stoddart report on physician planning in Canada, The Kilshaw report on Physician payment reform in Canada and the George Committee on the future of the physician workforce in Ontario.

He led research in Canada on the development and application of needs-based models of health care funding and has further developed these models for application to health workforce planning. His main research interests are in the economics of health care systems with particular emphasis on equity, resource allocation and alternative delivery models.  He has over 200 publications in peer reviewed journals and was ranked equal first in Canada and equal 35th in the world in the 2012 World Bank publication on the quantity and impact of health economics research.  He was Senior Editor for Social Science and Medicine from 1997-2012 and has served on various public boards including the Local Health Integration Network and the District Health Council in Hamilton, Ontario, the Health Professions Regulatory Council of Ontario and the Community Health Council for York District Health Authority.