Associate Professor Hossein Afzali

Associate Professor in Health Economics

College of Medicine and Public Health

place Margaret Tobin Centre (2.34)
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia

I have a background in medicine (MD) and obtained my PhD in health economics from the University of Adelaide. My main area of expertise relates to the economic evaluation of new health technologies with a focus on the application of decision analytic models aiming to improve models of clinical care in the primary care setting and the decision-making process around the public funding of health care interventions. In terms of applied economic evaluations, my major research activity is the design, conduct and analysis of economic evaluations alongside observational studies and clinical trials. This also includes the application of decision analytic models to extrapolate the findings beyond the observed data in order to estimate lifetime costs and outcome of new health technologies. The main focus of my methodological research is on the improvements in the decision-making process with a view to better inform public funding decisions. Examples include the development of diseases-specific reference models, model structuring (including structural uncertainty) and the estimate of the cost-effectiveness threshold in Australia.

Currently I am coordinator of three topics/courses within undergraduate and postgraduate public health teaching programs at Flinders University. Previously (2019-2023) I was coordinator of all postgraduate public health teaching programs (including MPH) at Flinders University.

For 9 years I was a member of the Evaluation Sub-Committee (ESC) of the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) (2015-2023) whose role is to advise the Australian government on evidence relating to the safety, effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of new medical technologies and procedures. I was also an evaluator of submissions to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) to determine funding of medicines (2007-2009). I have also been involved in revising MSAC and PBAC Guidelines. Over the past three years, as a chief investigator, I have received over $6.5 million in research funding from competitive grants and tender submissions.


2004-2007    PhD (Health Economics) (The University of Adelaide)

2003-2004    Graduate Diploma in Public Health

1987-1994    Medicine (MD)     

Honours, awards and grants
  • Awards
    • 2021: College of Medicine and Public Health (CMPH) Teaching Innovation & Scholarship Award
    • 2018: Best Presentation Award: Good practices for structuring cost-effectiveness models in decision making. 20th International Conference in Applied Health Economics and Health Policy. Singapore, March 2018
    • 2016: Alan Wiliams Fellowship Award: Disease-specific (reference) models. Centre for Health Economics (CHE), the University of York (UK)
  • Reecnt research grants
    • 2023-2027: (Chief Investigator): Donor milk instead of formula in preterm infants: the GIFT Trial. NHMRC (Grant ID:2024018) ($2,243,378)
    • 2023-2026: (Chief Investigator): Faecal Microbiota Transplantation to improve pain, symptom management and treatment efficacy in patients with pancreatic cancer. MRFF- Pancreatic Cancer Research (Grant ID: 2024316) ($1,521,000)
    • 2023-2026: (Chief investigator): Implementation of an omega-3 precision nutrition strategy to prevent preterm birth. MRFF- Maternal Health and Healthy Lifestyles (Grant ID: 2022061) ($1,366,713).

    • 2022-2024: (Chief Investigator): The Patient journey for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with a road traffic injury. Lifetime Support Authority- Government of South Australia ($424,000)

    • 2021-2023: (Chief Investigator): 3D-Printed Facial Guards to reduce P2/N95 respirator leak and protect health care workers from COVID-19. MRFF- Rare Cancers, Rare Diseases and Unmet Need (Grant ID: 2005906) ($973,000)

    • 2021-2024: (Chief Investigator): Australian lifestyle change program to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes amongst a high-risk population (AUS 2 Prevent). Diabetes SA ($300,000)

    • 2020-2025: (Chief Investigator): Iodine supplementation in pregnancy to improve early childhood neurodevelopment: how much is enough? MRFF- Neurological Disorders (Grant ID: 1199617) ($3,235,000)
    • 2020-2022: (Chief Investigator): Sunrrise Australia: A randomised clinical trial of Single Use Negative pRessure dressing for Reduction In Surgical site infection following Emergency laparotomy. MRFF- International Clinical Trial Collaborations grant program (Grant ID: 1179938) ($782,000).
    • 2015-2019: (Chief Investigator): Estimation of the cost-effectiveness threshold for the Australian health system. NHMRC (GNT1084387) ($331,000)
Key responsibilities

Teaching Program Coordinator- Flinders University (2019-2023)

  •      Master of Public Health
  •      Graduate Certificate in Public Health
  •      Graduate Certificate in Health Promotion
Teaching interests

Area of interest

Economic evaluation in health care: Before taking a position at Flinders University in 2019, I was a senior lecturer at the University of Adelaide (2009-2018) where I was coordinator for a number of undergraduate and postgraduate health economics courses including: ‘Health Economics’ (a core course for Master of Health Economics and Policy mainly focusing on economic evaluation of new pharmaceuticals), ‘Evaluation in Public Health’ (a core course for MPH), ‘Hacking Health’ (a core course for Advanced Bachelor of Health Sciences), and ‘MPPD3-Health Economics (a core course for 3rd year medical students). I was also coordinator of the following teaching programs at Flinders University (2019-2023)

  • Master of Public Health
  • Graduate Certificate in Public Health
  • Graduate Certificate in Health Promotion
Topic coordinator
PHCA3517 Health Economics
PHCA9519 Economic Evidence for Health Care Decision Making
PHCA9512 Public Health Research Dissertation
Higher degree by research supervision
Principal supervisor: Health economics (2)
Associate supervisor: Health economics (2)
  • Economic evaluation of health care interventions