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First chair in the subject at a public university in Austria.

(Vienna, 25th October 2013) Judit Simon took up the post of Professor of Health Economics at the MedUni Vienna in mid October. The Medical University of Vienna has thus also become the first Austrian university to establish a chair in the subject.

Born in Hungary, Simon has previously worked at University College London (UCL), the London School of Economics (LSE) and the Health Economics Research Centre (HERC), Nuffield Department of Population Health at the University of Oxford. She will also remain an associate member of the research team in Oxford, as a result of which she expects close cooperation to develop between Oxford and the MedUni Vienna.

The aim of the new Department of Health Economics at the MedUni Vienna (Centre for Public Health) is to become a distinct, independent academic research unit and to have an international focus. English will therefore be the official language. Judit Simon is striving to create interdisciplinary collaboration among clinicians and researchers not only within the MedUni Vienna, but also with other Austrian and international research institutions.

MedUni Vienna is planning to offer PhDs in Health Economics from 2014 onwards. Moreover, content from the subject will flow into other existing Masters Programmes enabling current courses of study to be expanded with subject matter from the field of health economics.

Health economics is not primarily concerned with finances in the health care system, according to the new professor, but more a matter of assessing and researching the costs and value of various treatments. Says Simon: “It is about cost-effective treatment and finding out possible ways of achieving as cost-effective a system as possible, through to developing cost-effective clinical guidelines.” 

Personal Information
Judit Simon has a DPhil in Public Health (University of Oxford) and an MSc in Health Economics (University of York); she is also a Doctor of Medicine (Hons), has a BSc in Economics and a BA in Medical Translation (all from the University of Szeged). Her primary interests include research into health economics in relation to mental health, diabetes and perinatal medicine.

Since October she has been Professor of Health Economics and Head of the Department of Health Economics at the MedUni Vienna’s Centre for Public Health. Her previous post was as Senior Researcher at the Health Economics Research Centre at the University of Oxford.