Dr Virginia Wiseman
I began working as a health economist with LSHTM in 2001 and since that time have worked primarily on economic evaluation, equity, economics of malaria and health care financing in low and middle income countries. Prior to coming to the school I worked in a health economics research unit at The University of Sydney, Australia where I collaborated on a range of health economics projects focussing on indigenous health care financing and priority setting in health care. I am currently based in Sydney and have a joint position as Associate Professor of Health Economics in the School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of New South Wales.
I enjoy teaching and in particular developing bespoke training programmes in health economics. Since 2008 have run a short course in health care financing for UNICEF that involves an 8 week on line course and a 2 week face to face workshop in London. I regularly design and deliver other short courses in health economics for the UK Department for International Development and Australian Aid (Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade). Lorna Guinness and I are co-editors of 'Introduction to Health Economics' - a textbook widely used for health economics teaching globally, as well as for distance learning and face to face teaching at LSHTM.
My research centres on the design and evaluation of interventions to answer questions about how to deliver and finance treatment to disadvantaged populations under ‘real-world’ conditions. My strategy is to bring together empirical research tools widely used in economics and the social sciences with the operational realities of policy implementation to assess the impact of interventions targeting the poor.
This work focuses on 2 key topics. The first is the evaluation of public health interventions that have been shown to be effective but continue to face significant challenges of implementation in resource poor settings. I am currently principal investigator on two impact evaluations of interventions to support the roll-out of malaria Rapid Diagnostic Tests in Cameroon and Nigeria, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and coordinated through the ACT Consortium. In 2016, I was part of an international team awarded $6.8 million under the Joint Global Health Trials initiative (established by DFID, MRC & Wellcome Trust) to evaluate point-of-care testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections to improve pregnancy outcomes in Papua New Guinea. My group is also planning studies to evaluate health worker and community interventions to address antibiotic overuse in hospital and primary care facilities Timor Leste.
My other area of research is health care financing. Health economics has a major role to play in addressing the burden of disease amongst the poor by ensuring equity in health care financing. Our studies often use the quantitative techniques of financing and benefit incidence analysis to inform policy decisions on the best mix of financing mechanisms for strengthening health systems in the Asia-Pacific. This is complemented by qualitative investigations of the context and process of implementing financing reforms. I currently lead studies evaluating the health financing systems of Fiji, Timor Leste and Cambodia. We have also just been awarded a grant through the Health System Research Initiative (DFID, ESRC, MRC & Wellcome Trust) to evaluate UHC equity-reforms in Indonesia with our partners at the University of Indonesia and the University of New South Wales, Australia.
With my colleague Sandra Mounier-Jack, I also spend quite a bit of time as co-editor of Health Policy & Planning, a journal specialising in health policy and health systems research in low and middle income countries. Please check out our latest articles, blogs and podcasts here! https://academic.oup.com/heapol