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Professor of Health Economics appointed as Inaugural Chair to prestigious WHO committee

Posted on 4 December 2023

A University of York academic has been appointed to a prestigious World Health Organization (WHO) advisory group.

Smoke over a city. Photo by @dylu on unsplash

Laura Bojke, Professor of Health Economics at the Centre for Health Economics, has been appointed as Inaugural Chair for the World Health Organization (WHO) Advisory Group on Economics for Environment, Climate Change and Health (TAG-EconECH). 

The expert group is made up of 11 members drawn from the global academic community.

Professor Laura Bojke

Professor Bojke's areas of expertise include health economics, evidence synthesis, health inequalities, and public health. She currently co-leads the Health Economics, Equity and Evaluation cross cutting theme for the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration in Yorkshire and Humber, working across many public health topics, focussing on the efficient use of limited resources and maximisation of outcomes. 

She has worked across multiple projects spanning health and the environment. These have looked at mitigation and adaptation to address combat change and also the use of blue/green spaces to improve health and the environment. She is a  co-investigator on the BiB Breathes project funded by the National Institute for Health Research to look at the impact of a clean air zone on costs and outcomes across sectors.

Professor Bojke said: “I am excited to be given this opportunity to contribute towards an extremely important stream of research. 

“The tools used in economic evaluation provide valuable opportunities to both understand the impact of climate change on health and also to contribute towards prioritisation of interventions to mitigate against its impacts and also shape health and care systems to adapt to the challenges it will bring.”

Public good

Professor Karen Rowlingson, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, said: "Professor Bojke’s expertise in economic evaluation and the application of analytic models, combined with her experience contributing to independent academic groups makes her an ideal choice for the Inaugural Chair of the WHO committee.

"This appointment demonstrates how researchers at the University of York are working globally and collaboratively to create meaningful change for the public good.” 

The economics of change

The Advisory Group will:

  • Provide independent evaluation of the scientific technical and strategic aspects of the economics for environment, climate change and health, with a focus on the global Investment Case for Health, Environment and Climate Change;
  • Recommend priority topics related to economic evaluation and analysis for environment, climate change and health for consideration within the Organization and/or relevant technical unit;
  • Advise WHO on its economic evaluation and analysis for environment, climate change and health, especially as it relates to the global Investment Case for Health, Environment and Climate Change; and
  • Review and make recommendations to WHO on disease and intervention priorities, economic models and estimates (e.g., of cost of inaction, intervention costs, economic benefits, and cost-benefits), and economic arguments for interventions addressing environmental, climatic and occupational risk factor.

Further information:

With around 70 economists, the Centre for Health Economics (CHE) at the University of York is a world-renowned institute that produces policy relevant research and innovative methods that advance the use of health economics to improve population health. 2023 marks its 40th anniversary delivering pioneering research in the realm of health economics.

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