Health Economics

Health economics looks at the costs and effectiveness of different types of health care programmes, considering the full cost to the health system, in order to inform decision making.

Key project: Costs of Breast Cancer in New Zealand

Dr Chunhuan Lao has been working with hospital clinicians to quantify the cost of breast cancer in New Zealand, examining the national and individual costs of breast cancer over time, comparing the costs by age, ethnicity, stage, and mode of detection.

The results of this project will inform healthcare planning such as decisions to introduce new treatment regimens for breast cancer. It will also guide healthcare planners for better resource allocation to reduce inequities in breast cancer diagnosis, treatment, and health outcomes.

Project partners

The project was funded by the Health Research Council. Breast Cancer Foundation.Other projects include the costs for patients living with arthritis, the costs of orthopaedic hip and knee replacements, and the cost effectiveness of day surgery for Ear Nose and Throat treatments.

Recent publications

  • Oetzel, J. G., Lao, C., Morley, M., Penman, K., Child, M., Scott, N., & Karalus, M. (2019). Efficacy of an incentive intervention on secondary prophylaxis for young people with rheumatic fever: a multiple baseline study. BMC Public Health19(1), 11 pages. doi:10.1186/s12889-019-6695-3
  • Lao C, Lees D, Patel S, White D, Lawrenson R. Length of hospital stay after primary hip and knee replacement surgeries in New Zealand. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019;16(23):4789.
  • Lao C, Lees D, Patel S, White D, Lawrenson R. Geographical and ethnic differences of osteoarthritis associated hip and knee replacement surgeries in New Zealand: a population-based cross-sectional study. BMJ Open. 2019;9:e032993. 2019 Sep;177(2):497-50
  • Lao C, Lawrenson R, Edwards M, Campbell I.  Treatment and survival of Asian women diagnosed with breast cancer in New Zealand. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2019 Sep;177(2):497-505. doi: 10.1007/s10549-019-05310-z.
  • Lawrenson R, Lao C, Ali A, Campbell I.  Impact of radiotherapy on cardiovascular health of women with breast cancer. J Med Imaging Radiat Oncol. 2019 Apr;63(2):250-256. doi: 1
  • Lawrenson R, Lao C, Jacobson G, Seneviratne S, Scott N, Sarfati D, Elwood M, Campbell I. Outcomes in different ethnic groups of New Zealand patients with screen-detected vs. non-screen-detected breast cancer. J Med Screen. 2019 May 8:969141319844801. doi: 10.1177/0969141319844801. 0.1111/1754-9485.12838.
  • Blackmore T, Lawrenson R, Lao C, Edwards M, Kuper-Hommel M, Elwood MCampbell I. The characteristics, management and outcomes of older women with breast cancer in New Zealand. Maturitas. 2018 Jun;112:64-70.
  • Lawrenson, R., Lao, C., Campbell, I., Harvey, V., Brown, C., Seneviratne, S, Elwood, M. and Kuper-Hommel, M., 2018. The use of trastuzumab in New Zealand women with breast cancer. Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Oncology, April, 2018: 14(2), pp.e152-e160. doi: 10.1111/ajco.12766. Epub 2017 Aug 30.
  • Lawrenson R, Lao C, Campbell I, Harvey V, Seneviratne S, Elwood M, Sarfati D, Kuper-Hommel M.  The impact of different tumour subtypes on management and survival of New Zealand women with Stage I-III breast cancer. N Z Med J. 2018 May 18;131(1475):51-60.
  • Campbell I, Lao C, Blackmore T, Edwards M, Hayes L, Ng A, Lawrenson R. Surgical treatment of early stage breast cancer in the Auckland and Waikato regions of New Zealand. ANZ J Surg. 2018 Sep 25. doi: 10.1111/ans.14840.
  • Ooi C, Solanki K, Lao C, Frampton C, White D.  Mortality in the Waikato Hospital Systemic Sclerosis Cohort. Int J Rheum Dis. 2018 Jan;21(1):253-260. doi: 10.1111/1756-185X.13111. Epub 2017 Jun