Institute of Health Economics

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Institute's website: http://www.ihe.ac.bd/


1. BACKGROUND OF THE INSTITUTE

Since the early 1990s, the Health Sector of Bangladesh has been undertaking huge interventions so as to rapidly improve the health status of the population. Accordingly, in the fourth and fifth health sector programmes, the targeted coverage of the sector has been substantially expanded. The magnitude of health services to be devoted per person has been increased, and the measures have been proposed to drastically enhance the quality of services. Implementation of the plan requires huge amount of resources, but relative availability of resources has been declining. Given the growing scarcity of resources for the Sector, the only way to increase the coverage and improve the quality of services is to intensively utilize the existing facilities and allocate resources to the sectoral activities more efficiently. Increased allocative efficiency of resources requires, on the other hand, imparting regular training in health economics to the managers and professionals of the sector and others carrying out research on health economic issues. The Government has increasingly felt the need for training of the personnel of the sector and conducting research in health economics, and started sending officials abroad to study health economics. It later became evident that the cost of overseas training of each person is so high that the government will not be able to train the required number of personnel using the small amount of fund received from the donors. In such a situation, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) approached the University of Dhaka to establish an Institute to offer post-graduate degrees and conduct training programmes in Health Economics and carry out research on health economic issues. As a result, the Institute of Health Economics (IHE) was established in the University of Dhaka in July 1998 with the financial support of the Department for International Development (DFID) and the University of Dhaka.

2. MAJOR ACTIVITIES OF IHE

2.1. Running undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes: The Institute of Health Economics (IHE) offers a number of post-graduate degree programmes:

i) B.S.S. in Health Economics

This is a four -year programme for which there is a provision for enrolment of 60 students. The B.S.S. program is divided into eight semesters; two semesters in each academic year. Students are admitted in the first year of the B.S.S. (Hons.) program based on the performances in the admission test conducted by the Faculty of Social Sciences (D Unit) and Faculty of Arts (B unit) in equal proportion.

Degree requirements of the B.S.S. (Honours) in Health Economics program are:

(a)  Completion of 35 courses including comprehensive and internship (total 140 credit hours)

(b)Passing of all courses individually and maintaining a minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 2.0

ii) MSS in Health Economics

The Institute offers a one-year M.S.S. in Health Economics. The subjects offered in this programme include: Economic Theory (related to Health Sector), Public Health and Epidemiology, Health Policy and Planning, Applied Econometrics, Economics of Health Care, Economic Evaluation of Health Care, Health Services Management, Management Decision analysis, Hospital Management and Research Methodology. This Master program is currently meant for the students who obtain B.S.S. (Hons) in Health Economics from the Institute of Health Economics, University of Dhaka.

Degree requirements of the M.S.S. in Health Economics program are:

(a) Completion of 10 courses (40 credit hours)

(b) Passing of all courses individually and maintaining a minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 2.0

iii) Post-graduate Diploma in Health Economics

This is a one-year programme for which there is a provision for enrollment of 50 students. The subjects offered in this programme include: Principles of Economics, Introduction to Macroeconomics and Public Finance, Basic Mathematics, Introduction to Bio-Statistics, Introduction to Health Economics and Health Services Management, Microeconomic Theory, International Economics and Development Economics, Statistical Methods for Health Economics, Introduction to Financing and Economic Evaluation of Health Care.  At present the Institute is not offering the diploma programme.

iii) M. Phil. in Health Economics

This is a two-year research degree, of which first year is for course work and second year for dissertation. Candidates for admission into the M. Phil. Programme must possess a Master Degree in Health Economics, or Economics, or Business Studies or in a related discipline. They must possess a good second class in the above examination and should have at least Second Division/Class in all earlier examinations (SSC, HSC and graduation examination). The rules of University of Dhaka are applicable for admission into M.Phil in Health Economics.

iv) Ph. D. in Health Economics

This is a research degree by thesis on a topic relevant to health economics field. Candidates for admission into the Ph.D. degree programme must possess M.Phil. degree in Health Economics from IHE of the University of Dhaka or M. Phil. in Economics from the University of Dhaka or from any other recognized university. The candidates who have not obtained M. Phil. in Health Economics but have good research and/or teaching experience may be considered for direct enrollment into the Ph.D. Programme of the IHE. The Academic Board, on the recommendations of the Academic Committee of the Institute, may relax the qualifications.

2.2. Conducting short training courses for the health professionals: Every year, IHE offers two short courses (8 -10 week) on issues of Health Economics, Health Care Financing, Economic Evaluation of Health Care, Health Care Management, and Methodology of Health Economic Research are offered for the managers and officials of the Health and Population Sector. Each training course comprises 30 participants. The sessions of the short training courses normally take place in the evening hours. 

Title of the training courses - Sponsored by

Training Course on Health Economics – DFID

Training Course on Health Economics – DFID

Training Course on Health Economics - HEU, MOHFW

Training Course on Costing and Economic Evaluation – DFID

Operations Research on Reproductive Health - Population Council, USA

Training Course on Health Economics – DFID

Training Course on Health Economics – DFID

2.3. Conducting research: In addition to teaching and training, research is an important activity of the Institute. It conducts research on issues related to Health Economics, Hospital Management, Health Care Management and Policy, Health Care Evaluation, Health Care Financing, and Public Health and Epidemiology which are in the priority areas of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Bangladesh. In addition to the externally funded studies, IHE also conducts studies on its own.

2.4. Publications from IHE: Institute of Health Economics publishes research report, working paper, and monograph. The Institute has taken initiatives to publish a journal titled Bangladesh Health Economics Journal, which is under the process.

2.5. Organizing Seminar/Workshop: IHE organizes seminars and workshops on the issues of health economics, public health and epidemiology, and health services management, and the faculty members regularly participate in the seminars/workshops outside the Institute (within the country and abroad).

2.6. Organizing Conference: IHE organizes conference of the researchers and managers of the Health sector of Bangladesh on carefully chosen themes of Health Economics.

2.7. Providing advisory services to the health sector: IHE provides advisory services to the Health Sector, as and when requested.

2.8. Faculty development and curriculum improvement exercises

The Institute of Health Economics conducts multidisciplinary programmes/researches and the faculty members are from various disciplines. For the mutual improvement of the faculty members through enhancing their knowledge base on multidisciplinary issues, IHE carries out in-house seminars on economics, health economics, health services management, public health, and epidemiology issues. Each year IHE reviews the curriculum, and modifies and updates the curriculum, if necessary. IHE faculty members intensively devote approximately 60 hours over a period of two months to conduct these exercises. The main objective of these exercises is to develop Health economics as an integrated discipline, such that it emerges as a unified field combining several relevant fields, and enables the teachers and students to capture the entire discipline in the becoming comprehensively.

2.9. Evaluation of courses by students The students formally evaluate the courses, course teachers, curricula, teaching methods, office etc in every semester of the programmes, and the faculty members get the feedback and measures are adopted based on the outcomes of evaluation for improvement of teaching and programmes. 



3. CONSTRAINTS

The IHE is currently operating under a few severe constraints. First, it does not have any premise of its own, which is needed for its proper functioning. The University authority has been taking the measures for allotment of land and other necessary support for establishing a separate IHE premise. Second, since IHE is still in its growing stage it requires substantial support from the government and external donors, especially for providing grant for higher education and training of teachers and researchers. Unfortunately, donor support is not currently available. Continued efforts are on for involving the interested donors to support IHE activities.

Contact Us

For any queries related to  M.Phil and PhD, contact (if from Bangladesh):

Moin Uddin Ahmed, Institute of Health Economics, Email: moin.ahmed@ihe.ac.bdinfo@ihe.ac.bd

Contact (if from outside of Bangladesh)

Moin Uddin Ahmed,Institute of Health Economics,Email: moin.ahmed@ihe.ac.bdinfo@ihe.ac.bd

For research and other policy level queries contact (both national and international)

Director,Institute of Health Economics, Email: director@ihe.ac.bd , s.a.hamid73@gmail.com (with CC to  moin.ahmed@ihe.ac.bd)

For any other queries

Send mail to moin.ahmed@ihe.ac.bdinfo@ihe.ac.bd