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Table 1 Eight common health economics functions and examples of the types of situation in which they might be useful or types of questions that might be answered using this function

From: How do government health departments in Australia access health economics advice to inform decisions for health? A survey

Function Types of questions/situation in which this function would be applied
1. Appreciation of how economics fits into multi-disciplinary analysis of public health problems Does this problem have an economic aspect? Would it benefit from an economic perspective?
2. Advanced appreciation of economic concepts and frameworks, able to frame issues, formulate questions and obtain advice Problem has an economic aspect that can be framed i.e., the person is able to formulate an economic question in an appropriate way as part of a proposal.
3. Economic analysis of simple problems and issues, requiring literature searches, appraisal, synthesis and interpretation Able to read and interpret the economic literature and think from an economic perspective.
4. A capacity to respond quickly to emerging and emergency issues An economic surge capacity exists.
5. Conducting economic evaluations and other studies, with appropriate methods Able to answer questions about performing economic analysis for example: when is the right time; how should it be done; what level of complexity is required; do we have the necessary skills and experience required, or do we know who has the necessary skills?
6. Application of economic findings to priority settings, emerging issues and decision-making Able to apply priority setting techniques and able to factor in issues such as equity.
7. A priority-driven, policy relevant research program Not reactive but anticipates need. Is able to formulate research questions, develop a proposal to answer those questions and execute the study.
8. An investigator-led research program Not reactive – sees gaps in the available knowledge and tools, is able to develop a research plan to fill these gaps and secure funding to support the research agenda.