From July 20 to 28, 2019, two HIAS Health researchers, Ryota Nakamura (Hitotsubashi Institute for Advanced Study, Associate Professor) and Ying Yao (Hitotsubashi Institute for Advanced Study, Specially Appointed Assistant Professor), visited Bhutan as members of an investigation committee of JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency).
This investigation committee responded to a request from Bhutan’s Ministry of Health, who aims to create an optimal health benefit package. Preliminary research includes developing cost-effectiveness thresholds for Health Technology Assessment (HTA). Two researchers from the Health Intervention and Technology Assessment Program (HITAP), Ministry of Public Health, Thailand, also accompanied as co-investigators.
The investigation committee met with representatives from the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Finance, Bhutan Medical Fund, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and visited many local health facilities. Dr Nakamura also gave a lecture titled “Health Technology Assessment, Japanese experiences, and cost-effectiveness threshold” at the Ministry of Health.
During their stay, the investigation committee and the Ministry of Health agreed upon two new collaborative research projects: (1) Quantifying the relevant cost-effectiveness thresholds for HTA in Bhutan, in order to optimize the local list of essential medicines; and (2) Estimating the social costs of excessive alcohol consumption, which has become an increasing concern in the country
After the lecture by Ryota Nakamura at the Ministry of HealthA courtesy call on Minister of Health (center). Ryota Nakamura wears Bhutan national clothing (the second from right)
A primary health care facilityEssential medicines