OHE Appoints Principal Health Economist: Dr Alastair Fischer

OHE is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Alastair Fischer as a Principal Health Economist. Alastair joined the team at the end of February 2016.

Alastair has worked in academia and the civil service in both Australia and the United Kingdom as a statistician and economist. His early research as a Senior Lecturer in Economics at the University of Adelaide spanned a number of areas: the development of a new way of sampling for the Australian Bureau of Statistics; and the analysis of voting systems; the diffusion of innovations and experimental economics.

Alastair began his career in health economics in 1997.  He was appointed as a Senior Lecturer in Population and Community Health at St George’s medical school, where his main research was on the economics of ambulances.

He became one of the two original analysts and economists in NICE’s Technology Appraisals section soon after its inception in 1999. He transferred after 6 years to Public Health at NICE. As in Technology Appraisal, he serviced NICE guidelines committees. In the early days of NICE he was the one of two principal writers of pieces of guidance, and as NICE matured, he specialised in the evaluation of the cost effectiveness of treatments and interventions. His research has mainly been in the development of the methodology of economic evaluation of health care, including:

  • The economics of diagnosis
  • The conditions under which it is better to wait for new information before deciding to adopt or reject a healthcare innovation 
  • How evidence-based medicine should be adapted for evaluation of public health and social care interventions.  

Over the years, Alastair has had wide teaching experience and has taught mathematical economics, economic statistics, econometrics, macro and micro economics, environmental economics, economics of regulation, agricultural economics and new institutional economics before specialising in health economics, which he has taught on a part-time basis at St George’s, University of Cambridge, Anglia Ruskin University, Birkbeck College, UCL, Imperial College, Kingston/Royal Holloway, City University, University of Westminster, and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, as well as internal courses at NICE to staff and to NICE’s committee members.

He has a BSc (Hons) and PhD from the University of Adelaide and a BEc from the Australian National University, Canberra.  

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