Table 2

Examples of research priorities for the economics of emergency care

Research prioritiesValue for policy-makers
Economic evaluation
  • What are the costs and impacts of emergency care interventions implemented in LMIC contexts?

  • Which impact metrics and indicators in emergency care are best suited for use in economic evaluation?

  • How can established best-practice methods in economic evaluation be tailored to the challenges presented in assessing emergency care?

  • How can the cost-effectiveness of packages of care interventions be assessed?

Health financing
  • What are the current models of financing ECSs? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?

  • What are the effects of health financing fragmentation, pooled funding and earmarked funding on the delivery of emergency care?

  • What are the risks associated with the absence of dedicated emergency care financing streams in national budgets (as opposed to pooled hospital budgets)?

  • What are the effects of out-of-pocket payments on care-seeking behaviour and ultimate access to emergency care in LMICs?

  • What is the magnitude of financial hardship and resulting impoverishment faced by people seeking emergency care?

Societal value
  • How is value assigned to intangible benefits such as promotion of the human right to emergency care and disaster readiness?

  • What are the equity implications of ECS implementation, and how does it interface with the goal of UHC?

  • How do economies of scale in ECSs benefit other disease priorities, including those targeted by the SDGs?

Estimation of return on investment (mortality/morbidity reduction and cost savings) associated with the introduction of key emergency care interventions
Better informed resource allocation decisions, with a higher yield on investments
Identification of priority interventions
Strategies to finance expansion or introduction of emergency care systems
Incorporate ECS development in poverty reduction strategies
Improve protection against catastrophic health expenditures
Include ECS expansion as part of national health, emergency preparedness and SDG achievement strategies
Promotion and protection of the right to the highest attainable standard of health
Improve society-wide health and economic equity
  • ECS, emergency care system; LMICs, low-income and middle-income countries; SDG, Sustainable Development Goal.