Health Technology and Policy

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Context and Policy Challenge

With the increasing use of technology and the consequent financial burden on state-sponsored healthcare delivery system, it is necessary to assess how well the scarce public money is being spent and prioritize spending based on cost-effective programmatic interventions. CTaP overarching objective of this thematic group is to develop methodologies for assessing the cost-effectiveness of large scale healthcare interventions and to contribute to the policymaking process in order to prioritize public spending on various public health interventions.

Broad Research Objectives:

Broadly, this thematic group will be engaged in policy-relevant research questions to (a) Improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of healthcare and (b) promote cost-effective, evidence-based tool for procuring drugs, vaccines, medical equipment and devices in public healthcare system.

Engagement with Govt:

CTaP is already representing IITM in the recently established Medical Technology Assessment Board (MTAB) of the Department of Health Research (DHR) and ICMR of GoI., in developing methodologies (including Economic Assessment) of healthcare technologies, procedures, programmatic interventions financed by central and state governments.

CTaP is being considered by DHR /ICMR. to function as a Nodal agency for developing training modules and offer training in the field of Health Technology Assessment (HTA).

CTaP is also actively engaged with the Department of Health and Family Welfare of TN State Government in the design, implementation and assessment of the experiment with Universal Health Coverage as part of the National Health Mission.

Research Network and collaborators:

The Group working in this domain has been a part of an International Consortium, since 2005, supported by DFID (UK) and led by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LHSTM, London, www.resyst.lshtm.ac.uk). The Consortium consists of 10 individual research institutions from Africa (Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa), India (IITM), Thailand, and Vietnam, and the UK. We are also part of an Indian consortium consisting of Public Health Foundation of India (Delhi), Tata Institute of Social Sciences (Bombay), PG Institute for Medical Education and Research (Chandigarh).

Teaching:

CTaP has been offering an elective course on Technology and Public Policy, with the involvement of faculty members with a diverse disciplinary background. Given the number of faculty associated with the Centre, we shall work towards developing a B.Tech. Dual Degree option in Public Policy.

Collaborations and outreach:

Members of the group have also been offering medical workshops bringing together medical students, developers of medical technology, and social activists in order to understand pressings concerns on the ground as well as effective methods of development, dissemination, and education. Two workshops have been offered in the current year to great success.