About Us

The role of Health Economics has become increasingly important for a number of reasons, including pressure on health resources, the need to demonstrate economic implications within translation, the increasing array of technological interventions and an empowered consumer. Economic tools provide the means to address resource allocation consistently and explicitly for fair and transparent distribution.

Within Western Australia, capacity has been slowly building in recent years, although there is still a considerable shortage of skilled health economists. The development of the Western Australian Health Translation Network (WAHTN) has served to encourage collaboration across institutions to maximise capabilities and build strong networks. WAHTN has aided the health economics sector in WA by facilitating collaboration across institutions to maximise capabilities and by developing programs and initiatives to raise awareness about the role health economics plays.

A notable outcome has been the establishment of WATCHE (Western Australian Translation and Collaboration in Health Economics) where membership from all institutions across WA is encouraged. Founded through a strong collaboration between Curtin University and the University of Western Australia (UWA) (Suzanne Robinson and Elizabeth Geelhoed) and housed under the WAHTN banner, the alliance has grown to encompass representation from across the WA research community (including Curtin University, UWA, Murdoch University, Telethon Kids Institute).

The mission of WATCHE is to provide a platform to support capacity building in health economics through research, teaching and knowledge transfer. With the support of WAHTN the group have been successful in hosting the national health economics conference 2016; delivering a number of workshops and training opportunities; and supporting the inaugural Curtin Health Economics cluster meeting, which included international speakers and presentations from WATCHE early career researchers.  WATCHE members undertake research at state, national and international levels and support evidence generation that can inform policy and clinical practice across the health system.

While the lack of resources in this area remains a barrier to the breadth required for optimal research input, the cooperation currently manifest will enable robust development through the encouragement of PhD students and further education in health economics. The WATCHE collaboration maximises locally available breadth and depth in expertise (which is vital in this rapidly expanding field) and the strong commitment to international partnerships ensures global relevance.

Our Team Leads

Professor Suzanne Robinson

Professor Suzanne Robinson

Professor Suzanne Robinson is lead for the Health Systems and Health Economics Discipline at Curtin University. She has a track record in collaborative research activity and extensive experience of working with policy makers and clinicians in using research to inform practice. In recognition of her work she received the ACHSM Innovation and Excellence Award for her work in health system research and capacity building. Suzanne is the Curtin lead for the WA Primary Health Alliance and Curtin University partnership and also works closely with other health organisations at the state, national and international levels. She’s led large partnership research projects to successful completion and been an expert advisor for a number of government organisations. With her work in health system reform being influential in both national and local policy developments and practical application and translation. She is also Rural and Remote Flagship Research and Education Director for the Digital Health CRC which secured $200 Million in cash and in kind contributions from government and industry partners. Suzanne leads international research on decision making and priority setting and disinvestment in health, this work involves a number of aspects, in particular the use of health data sets to produce an evidence base to inform resource allocation decisions. She is also involved in undertaking economic evaluations alongside clinical trials.

Professor Elizabeth Geelhoed

Professor Elizabeth Geelhoed

Dr Elizabeth Geelhoed is a Professor in Health Economics and Policy within the School of Allied Health at UWA and has worked as a health economist in both research and policy development over the past 25 years. Her teaching role has comprised health economics education at graduate and postgraduate levels, including Economic Evaluation within the postgraduate program in WA and internationally. Professor Geelhoed’s experience includes participation on a number of national committees including MSAC ESC, which reviews evidence for consideration of new technologies for government subsidy. Research application has spanned a range of clinical and public health projects, including cardiovascular disease, genetics, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, osteoporosis, health impacts of urban design, health technology assessment and screening for disease prevention. She is CI on current competitive grants totalling more than $12m and has over 80 publications.
Particular interests include methods of economic evaluation for health care programs; the burden of disease and its economic implications; equity; and the integration of economics with epidemiology, clinical medicine and health policy.

Our Team

Richard Norman

Richard Norman

Richard is a Health Economist with 15 years’ experience both in the UK and Australia. He holds a PhD in Economics from UTS, and a Masters from the University of York. His research interests include economic evaluation, quality of life, and discrete choice experiments. He is Associate Editor at Value in Health, and is a permanent member of the Economics Sub-Committee of the PBAC.

Marshall Makate

Marshall Makate

Marshall is an Economist with strong research interests in the economic evaluation of healthcare programs, health system reform & translational research and application of applied econometric methods to understand economic phenomenon. He is a former Fulbright fellow who holds a PhD in Economics from the University at Albany in New York, USA. He has published some of his work in top-ranked peer-reviewed journals including Health Policy and Planning, Journal of Development Studies, International Journal of Social Economics and Nicotine & Tobacco Research.

Ha Nguyen

Ha Nguyen

Ha Nguyen is a Senior Research Fellow at the Telethon Kids Institute. He has published widely in both academic and policy outlets, with articles appearing in high-ranking economics journals, including Journal of International Economics, Health Economics, American Journal of Health Economics and Social Science & Medicine.

Mark Harris

Mark Harris

John Curtin Distinguished Professor Mark Harris is Co-Director of the Health Economics Cluster and Professor of Econometrics in the School of Economics, Finance and Property, Curtin University, and an Affiliate of the Health Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) University of York (UK) as well as a visiting scholar to the Health Economics Research Unit, University of Aberdeen (UK). Mark is a recognised world-leader in the field of applied health economics and econometrics. He has secured numerous Tier 1 research grants to conduct research into these areas, often leading to extensive coverage in the mainstream media.

Rory Watts

Rory Watts

Rory is a PhD candidate at the University of Western Australia with research interests in health economics, health policy, labour and global health. Prior to his PhD studies, Rory worked as a consultant for World Health Organization in Geneva, and as an economist for Deloitte Access Economics.

Khurshid Alam

Khurshid Alam

Associate Professor Khurshid Alam at Murdoch Business School completed his PhD in Health Economics from Monash University. His expertise is in economic evaluation, healthcare financing, health equity and global health. He authored 70 journal articles and is on the editorial board of Plos One and Cost Effectiveness and Resource Allocation.

Cameron Wright

Cameron Wright

Cameron is a research associate with the Health Systems and Health Economics discipline, School of Public Health, Curtin University. He is also a registered pharmacist, working at Fiona Stanley Hospital. He sees health economics as a powerful tool for thinking through options in a structured way.

Ninh Ha

Ninh Ha

Ninh Ha is a research associate at School of Public health – Curtin University. Ninh has recently submitted her PhD thesis on developing a new time duration measure to better capture continuity of care. She is interested in applications of advanced econometric approaches in linked administrative data to support policy development.

Ian Li

Ian Li

Dr Ian Li is a health and labour economist based at the School of Population and Global Health, The University of Western Australia. Ian has been a CI on grants funded by the NHMRC, the NCSEHE and WA Healthway, and has published his work in Social Science and Medicine, Value in Health, the Economic Record, and Education Economics.

Stephanie Thomas

Stephanie Thomas

Stephanie is currently a Lecturer at the School of Economics, Finance and Property at Curtin University and Adjunct Lecturer at McMaster University. Current projects include using virtual reality as a controlled laboratory environment for exploring health related decision making and working with EQ-5D health preference data to explore the possibility of using alternative statistical strategies for generating population level health utility values.

Jeff Cannon

Jeff Cannon

Jeff is a Health Economist with strengths in epidemiological and statistical analyses, mathematical modelling, and economic evaluation. Extending on his PhD thesis, Jeff is currently developing a public health value proposition and a business investment case for a group A Streptococcus vaccine under the Global GAS Consortium.

David Youens

David Youens

David Youens is a project coordinator at Curtin University’s School of Public Health and PhD candidate. His research interests focus on the use of hospital services by populations with chronic illness and factors influencing hospitalisation. David also contributes to teams trialling psychosocial interventions through conducting health economic analyses.

Michael Burton

Michael Burton

Michael is an applied economist who works in the area of non market valuation, and especially with discrete choice experiments. He has a PhD from the University of Manchester, and maintains strong research links with colleagues there. He has been involved in major research projects in the UK funded by the Food Standards Agency into the costs of food borne disease, and campylobacter. He is also a member of the FSANZ Social Science and Economics Advisory Group.

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