About Us

Welcome to the
Centre for Health Policy

Professor Adam Elshaug - Director, Centre for Health Policy

The Centre for Health Policy (CHP) strives to identify, critique, co-design, implement and evaluate policy options that protect the health of populations; to formulate, with partners, strategies that improve access, organisation, and delivery of health services or programs, particularly as they affect the most vulnerable; and to identify strategies for enhancing the safety, effectiveness and efficiency of health care systems in addressing the most pressing health and care challenges.

We offer a leading independent voice on health policy, generating new evidence and insights to inform debates and strengthen health care decision making. The Centre boasts a diverse, interdisciplinary group of scholars including health economists, evaluation and implementation scientists, clinicians, social scientists, legal scholars, policy analysts, sociologists, political scientists, demographers and executive managers. In 2021 the Centre comprised 60 academic and professional staff, as well as 35 honorary staff representing a diverse group of experts from industry, government and NGO sectors. Many staff members serve as advisors to federal, state, and international organisations.

The Centre for Health Policy has six broad streams:

The Centre is also the coordinating home to M-VAC, the Melbourne Health Technology and Value Assessment Collaborative, established in 2021 and contracted to conduct value-based assessments and evaluations of pharmaceuticals, health services and technologies, preventive and curative programs, and digital health applications. M-VAC provides a comprehensive stream of research, consultancy and advisory services to underpin value-based health care agendas, and reforms.

The Centre for Health Policy runs a number of short courses in Health Program Evaluation and Health Economics:

In addition we contribute to teaching within the Master of Public Health and from 2022 we will offer a Graduate Certificate in Health Economics.

Our History

CHP has its origins in the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) National Centre for Health Program Evaluation, which was established in 1991 as a joint venture between the University of Melbourne and Monash University. Professor David Dunt led the Program Evaluation Unit, which was the University of Melbourne’s side of the Centre.

The Program Evaluation Unit returned to the University of Melbourne in 2003, and was recognised as the Centre for Health Policy, Programs and Economics (CHPPE) by the University in 2006.  In 2009, Professor Jane Pirkis took the reins as the director of the CHPPE with Margaret Kelaher as Deputy Director. The new Centre continued to focus its work around three work workstreams: Mental Health, Primary Care and Health Promotion (later renamed Evaluation and Implementation Science) and Health Economics. The Health Policy and Law (later to be renamed Law and Public Health) stream was established in 2007.

In 2013 there was a major restructure of centres in the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, with CHPPE reforming into the Centre for Health Policy (CHP) and the Centre for Mental Health (CMH). Professor Jane Pirkis became the Director of the Centre for Mental Health and Professor Margaret Kelaher became the Director of CHP. During this year, the former Australian Health Workforce Institute was also incorporated as the Health Systems and Workforce Unit and in 2015, CHP became the host and coordinating Centre for the Master of Ageing.

In 2016 the Demography & Ageing Unit lead by Professor Peter McDonald was established and the Health Systems and Workforce Unit was retired upon the departure of Professor Gary Freed back to the United States.

Professor Philip Clarke was appointed Centre Director and Chair of Health Policy in (2017) and the Cancer Health Research Services Unit headed by Professor Maarten IJzerman was established in May 2018. Professor Clarke relocated to Oxford in 2018 and Professor Nancy Devlin commenced as Centre Director in January 2019 until mid 2020 when Professor Adam Elshaug commenced as Centre Director.

In 2021 the Healthy Housing Unit  lead by Professor Rebecca Bentley was established. The Centre is also the coordinating home to M-VAC, the Melbourne Health Technology and Value Assessment Collaborative, established in 2021.

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