HomeNews EventsNewsUsing evidence to empower decisions: HTA Training and Symposium

Using evidence to empower decisions: HTA Training and Symposium

29 Jan 2019

Policymakers, healthcare professionals, researchers and academia came together to learn more about HTA during the training held on 8-9 January.

What is the importance of health technology assessment (HTA) in health decision making? What are the processes and methods adopted by the various HTA entities in Singapore and the region? How has the role of HTA evolved in the context of universal health coverage (UHC)?

These were some of the questions covered at the ‘Health Technology Assessment: Selecting the Highest Value Care’ Training and Symposium on 8-10 January, jointly organised by the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health and the Health Intervention and Technology Assessment Program (HITAP), Thailand. The event provided an overview to the use of HTA in health policy at the national level, addressing its role in health decision making, how it has evolved, and how its impact can be enhanced locally and in the region.

The Training on 8–9 January saw over 80 policymakers, healthcare professionals, researchers and academia come together to gain a better understanding of HTA through the use of lectures, case studies, group discussions and practical exercises. The sessions were conducted by faculty and HTA experts from SSHSPH, HITAP, University of Southern California, University of Indonesia, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Ministry of Health (MOH), Singapore.

Dr Wanrudee Isaranuwatchai (3rd from left), Senior Researcher, HITAP, facilitating a group discussion during the HTA Training

To kick off the Symposium on 10 January, Professor Eric Finkelstein, professor of health services and systems research at Duke-NUS Medical School, gave an overview of the increasing importance of HTA to inform resource allocation, benefit packages under UHC and pricing interventions.

The day’s programme featured four segments comprising talks on specific themes regarding HTA, followed by panel discussions with the speakers. Representatives from India, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and WHO spoke on topics such as using HTA to inform policy decisions in Asia, similarities and differences in processes and methods across settings, and stakeholder involvement in HTA. The sessions were well-attended, with participants raising many interesting questions for the panels to discuss.

Discussing ‘Stakeholder involvement in HTA: can we do more with less?’ with panellists A/Prof Bernard Thong, MOH Drug Advisory Committee Member Divisional Chairman (Medicine) and Senior Consultant, Tan Tock Seng Hospital; Mr Robert Bowers, Market Access Committee Chairman, Singapore Association of Pharmaceutical Industries; and Ms Kannikar Kijtiwatchakul, Health Activist and Advisor, Foundation for Consumers in Thailand.

During the symposium, Dean, Professor Teo Yik Ying, launched the School’s Health Intervention and Policy Evaluation Research (HIPER) Centre, comprising faculty members, public health practitioners and researchers in the areas of health economics, health policy, HTA and programme evaluation. HIPER will serve as the engine to drive HTA capacity development locally and regionally, working with governments, global funders, NGOs and industry to measure the relevance and effectiveness of national policies, programmes and interventions.  

For more information about HIPER, visit their website here.


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