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The Australian National University

Measuring the value of health care

Date and time

Tue, 07/11/2017 - 15:30 - 17:30


Coombs Seminar Room A


Susan Pennings (ANU)

In this talk, I will discuss two metrics to measure the value of health care interventions: Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) and Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALYs). These measures are intended to help policymakers allocate funds impartially and efficiently, and are widely used in national health policies as well as by the World Health Organization. I will discuss a number of objections about the use of these health metrics: that they are inaccurate about the lived experience of people with disabilities, that they involve forced conflation of incommensurable goods, that their current usage fails principles of public justification, and that they obscure issues of distributive justice. I will go on to discuss alternative health metrics and the importance of including measures of subjective well-being in considering how to prioritise health care interventions.

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