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Health economist Prof. Tony Culyer at Wits

- By Wits University

Prioritising health expenditures on the road to NHI is the title of a public lecture by renowned UK health economist Professor Tony Culyer, to be delivered at Wits University on 23 March 2015.

Culyer, who is joining Wits as a Visiting Distinguished Professor hailing from York University in the UK, will be at Wits until 28 March 2015.

During his visit, Culyer will deliver the lecture and undertake visits to various Wits facilities, coordinated by the PRICELESS-SA unit in the Wits School of Public Health.

The lecture takes place as follows:

Date: 23 March 2015

Time: 17:00

Venue: Resource Centre, School of Public Health, Parktown Education Campus, 27 St Andrews Road, Parktown (parking on Education Campus). View the map 

Enquiries: or (011) 717-1194  

South Africans are currently looking at health care services and discussions about the quality of care in the private and public sector are high on the agenda. The role of the newly established Office of Standards Compliance is part of the machinery that can take South Africa forward within the context and confusion about the proposed National Health Insurance (NHI).

The Competition Commission’s inquiry into private health care is also currently underway and it is within this context that Culyer’s talk is of particular relevance to the general members of the public, private and public health administrators, health care professionals, academics, patient activist groups, law practitioners and health economists.

Culyer was central to the setting up of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in the UK. He will describe NICE’s contribution to setting a standard about what constitutes care that has been beneficial as well as the cost implications of such care, which influenced the decision on whether the UK public health system should fund particular health interventions.

The aim of the talk is to provide South Africans with an example of acceptable evidence-based care guidance and to reflect on its relevance to the country.


Culyer is Ontario Research Professor of Health Policy and System Design in Toronto and a professor of Economics at York. He was the founding organiser of the Health Economists’ Study Group and the
founding co-editor of the Journal of Health Economics. 

Culyer, being a pioneer in health economics, was the founding Vice-Chair of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and is chair of NICE International’s Advisory Group. Currently he is the Editor-in-Chief of a new online Encyclopaedia of Health Economics

During his time as chair of the Department of Economics and Related Studies at York and also Deputy Vice-Chancellor, he was instrumental in publishing the report that led to the redesign of the NHS’ system for supporting research and development. In Canada he has been a/the? Chief Scientist at the Institute for Work and Health and chair of the Toronto-based Workplace Safety and Insurance Board’s Research Advisory Council.

A founding father of the Occupational Cancer Research Centre in Toronto, he is also a board member of the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health. 

Professor Culyer is an author and co-author of more than 250 peer review manuscripts and editor of 34 books including the third edition of The Dictionary of Health Economics soon to be published. A collection of his non-technical essays, called The Humble Economist, edited by Karl Claxton and Richard Cookson, was published in 2012 and is now available online.

Professor Culyer has a Doctor of Economics, honoris causa from the Stockholm School of Economics. He is an international leader in his field and has received substantial international recognition for his research contributions.  He has received many honours amongst which are Commander of the British Empire (1999); Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (2014).