The use of an explicit value for health is up for discussion in the Netherlands. Wrongly so, thinks health economist professor Han Bleichrodt. Adhering to a defined limit when awarding compensation leads to better expenditure of public funds and makes the healthcare policy transparent. The calculation methods must become more reliable however, with attention to quality of life. He explains how this is possible in his inaugural lecture entitled 'The Value of Health', which will be held on Friday 19 September 2008 at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
The Council for Public Health and Healthcare (RVZ) recently advised that only those treatments which cost less than â‚¬ 80,000 to keep a patient alive in good health for a year longer should be eligible for reimbursement. Han Bleichrodt thinks this is a good proposal. "Using a value like this is often seen as a means of making cutbacks, but that is definitely not the case. Good calculations not only take into account the costs, but also the gains. Expensive operations, such as heart transplants, yield a great many gains."
Adhering to an explicit value for health, as is done in the United Kingdom and United States, leads to better expenditure of public funds, says Bleichrodt. Choices made in the healthcare sector also become more visible. Bleichrodt says the existing methods used by health economists are not reliable however. This can be easily remedied. In his inaugural lecture he demonstrates how we can value health in a reliable manner, while devoting explicit attention to quality of life.
Professor Han Bleichrodt (1965) is professor of health economics at the Erasmus School of Economics and the Erasmus Medical Centre of the Erasmus University Rotterdam. He received his doctorate cum laude from Erasmus University Rotterdam in 1996. He has received a number of prestigious research grants, including the Vici grant last year from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research. Last year he was a visiting professor at the University of California, Irvine. He is among the top 10 most prolific Dutch economists in terms of publications.
ERASMUS UNIVERSITY ROTTERDAM
Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
PO Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam