Malaysian Ministry of Health COVID 19 project

Alongside fellow Chief Investigators of the NHMRC SPECTRUM Centre of Research Excellence, Dr Natalie Carvalho from Health Economics Unit (HEU) and HEU honorary research fellow Dr Angela Devine successfully led a technical support project funded by the World Health Organization, in collaboration with the Malaysian Health Technology Assessment Section (MaHTAS). The team developed an economic burden model using Ministry of Health COVID-19 data together with an existing COVID-19 transmission dynamic model to provide supplementary data-driven considerations to assist financial planning of healthcare services. The model considered the direct medical cost of COVID-19 to Malaysia’s public healthcare system, and the burden of disease and productivity losses associated directly with COVID-19 from 2020 to the end of October 2021. Findings were disseminated in the form of a technical report detailing the economic burden of COVID-19 on healthcare services in Malaysia to key stakeholders in the Malaysian Ministry of Health. In addition, the team held a two-day virtual training workshop in November 2021 for 40 Ministry of Health officers on how to conduct economic modelling for infectious disease in Malaysia using real-time and real-life applicable scenarios, to develop capacity within the Ministry of Health.