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Convenient bedfellows: Economists, politicians and the creation of a new political economy of health

February 20, 2019 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Speaker: Professor Sally Sheard, University of Liverpool

Culyer Maynard Lecture

The creation of the British NHS in 1948 as a pioneering universal taxation-funded health care system provided new opportunities for economists to study health services. By the 1960s health economics was established as an academic discipline, and beginning to attract political interest. This lecture will consider how and why economists and politicians (and those who acted as interlocutors) have been drawn into ever closer working relationships, particularly as the costs of the NHS have continued to increase. What has happened when economists have presented inconvenient truths about NHS effectiveness and efficiency? Has health economics been used as a rationale for politically risky health policies?

Professor Sally Sheard

Sally Sheard is the Andrew Geddes and John Rankin Professor of Modern History at the University of Liverpool, with a primary research interest in the interface between expert advisers and policymakers. She currently leads a five year Wellcome Trust funded project; The Governance of Health: Medical, Economic and Managerial Expertise in Britain since 1948. Her latest book is The Passionate Economist: how Brian Abel-Smith shaped global health and social welfare (Policy Press, 2013). She has also written on the history of hospitals, the finance of British medicine and the development of the NHS. Sally has extensive experience of using history in public and policy engagement and has worked with local health authorities and government organisations. She also has written for and presented television and radio programmes, including the 2018 BBC Radio 4 series National Health Stories.

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ARRC Auditorium, Alcuin
Research Resource Centre,
Alcuin College


Alcuin Research Resource Centre
University of York
York, YO10 5DD
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