Cyprus Mail
Cyprus

Making sure health policymakers have the right information

Dr Nicos Panayides

By Bejay Browne

A regional chapter of an international organisation that aims to see that healthcare professionals and policymakers take decisions on the basis of sound scientific data, has been set up in Paphos, headed by a doctor from the general hospital there.

The main benefit of such an organisation would be to have an academic forum where scientists get together and provide health policymakers the correct information to help them best make decisions, said Dr Nicos Panayides.MD. Msc.

Panayides, 52, is a GP at Paphos general hospital, a position he has held for the last six years or so, although he has been involved in General Practice since 1990.

“We aim to build and develop membership and provide an environment where all healthcare professionals can share their knowledge at a country or regional level. We also want to act as a resource for individuals interested in pharmacoeconomics and outcomes research and its use in health care decisions,” he said.

“It’s one thing to study what treatment or actions may be best or the most effective but this is a way of ensuring decisions are socially equal and efficient. It is very important that healthcare professionals are given the opportunity to take the right decision by using evidence-based data.”

He said the Cyprus chapter had been three years in the making.

“I was introduced to the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research- ISPOR – by my professor at Neapolis University where I was studying for my masters’ degree and it has taken since then to set up a Cyprus chapter,” he said.

ISPOR is a non-profit, educational and scientific organisation that promotes excellence in pharmacoeconomics and health outcomes research .It also aids the appropriate use of resulting information in health care decisions at all levels to promote public health and well-being.

The international organisation has thousands of members from all over the world. The regional chapters aim to disseminate knowledge and bring the research tools of ISPOR to all areas of the globe.

According to ISPOR, they also provide and promote quality education on Pharmacoeconomics and outcomes research principles through short courses and distance learning programmes.

Panayides said that the Cyprus chapter of the ISPOR has around 25 members already and includes doctors and nurses. He is hoping that administrators will also come on board.

The Paphos doctor along with other members of the Cyprus chapter recently attended the 17th annual ISPOR European Congress which took place in Amsterdam. Such events facilitate and encourage the interchange of expert knowledge and communications among the wider healthcare community, Panayides said.

“It was very interesting so see the way that people think in other countries. Here we don’t measure what we do. Our health planning isn’t based on data evidence.”

He noted the importance of providing scientific evidence to aid the process of how a professional decides, and therefore makes the correct decision.

“We may implement some of the things which we gleaned at the congress, such as surgery for diabetes and the correct planning procedures and meeting the needs of further education of hospital staff.”

“It’s basically all about measuring before deciding what to do, something we don’t generally do here yet.”

For further information: – [email protected]

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