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Cost Benefit Analysis of Health Impact Assessment

Cost Benefit Analysis of Health Impact Assessment

CBA of Health Impact Assessment Department of Health November 2006“The application of Health Impact Assessment (HIA) has grown significantly over the last decade with an increasing amount of healthcare resources being allocated to the activity. Faced with increasing demand for health care services, healthcare systems must ensure that resources are allocated to achieve the maximum health benefits. Wanless (2002) stressed the importance of this effective use of resources for the NHS. While the application of health impact assessment (HIA) has increased, there does not seem to have been a
comparison of the costs and benefits involved in this process. For this reason, the Department of Health commissioned York Health Economics Consortium to undertake a cost benefit analysis of HIA, with particular regard to:

• Best practice in policy, programme and project decision making with particular
reference to local strategic partnerships (LSPs);
• Indicators about when and what areas HIA should be used to maximise its impact
and effectiveness, particularly in relation to addressing health inequalities;
• Investment made in HIA compared with the outcomes achieved in the form of
recommendations to decision makers that were implemented;
• Benefits of carrying out HIA compared with incorporating health into other impact
assessments (e.g. SEA);
• Recommendations about how HIA can be used most efficiently and effectively at
LSP level.”