Touching base with BCEPS - December 2021
This news item was originally written in connection with a Trond Mohn Foundation event that was to have taken place in December 2021. The event was cancelled due to Covid but the content of the article touches base with some of BCEPS' achievements to date.
At a planned event in December 2021, the Trond Mohn Foundation wanted to put the spotlight on BCEPS (Bergen Centre for Ethics and Priority Setting) and its achievements at the forefront of international research on developing methods and practices to implement priority setting in health in the fairest possible way.
The importance of having good guidelines for priority setting in health is obvious when resources are scarce, but over the last year much of the Norwegian population has felt what it is like to be excluded from prioritised groups in connection with the Covid-19 pandemic. The concept of priority setting in health has become familiar for the general public and makes BCEPS' work and achievements more relevant for everyone.
BCEPS established in 2019
In 2019, the Trond Mohn Foundation joined forces with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Norad, and the University of Bergen to establish the Bergen Centre for Ethics and Priority Setting (BCEPS). BCEPS' research activities are relevant in both a national and international context with BCEPS researchers often being called upon to provide input to the Norwegian debate on priority setting in health. At the same time, the centre currently has ongoing projects in Ethiopia, Zanzibar, Malawi and India, now extending to Nepal, Tanzania, Ghana and Africa CDC (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention).
In the roadmap below, an attempt has been made to show how BCEPS has adapted to the Covid-19 pandemic and is managing to combine its project commitments with an additional Covid perspective on both a national and international level:
Since BCEPS was established in June 2019, its scientific output of more than 70 scientific papers, editorials and commentaries, books, book chapters and reports has been substantial. Eleven of these publications have been in top journals such as The Lancet, Science, Nature Medicine, Plos Medicine and British Medical Journal.
Extended Funding from Norad
At the end of 2021, BCEPS was granted additional funding from Norad to extend its UHC decision support to three new countries and Africa CDC, in partnership with the Center for Integration Science in Global Health Delivery at Harvard Medical School’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Centre of Excellence Finalist
BCEPS is one of seven applicants from the University of Bergen to reach the final round of the Research Council of Norway's Centre of Excellence (SFF) initiative with its proposal for a Centre for Ethics and Priority Setting in Health.
Merited Roles and Achievements
Ole Frithjof Norheim (professor):
- Head of the Norwegian Biotechnology Advisory Board (2019-2023)
- Member of the expert advisory committee for the prioritisation of corona vaccines in Norway (2020)
- Voted in as member of Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters (2021)
- Winner of the 2021 UiB Medical Faculty award for research communication
Ingrid Miljeteig (associate professor):
- Leader of the Ethics Committee at Haukeland University Hospital (from January 2021)
- Chair of the Organising Committee for the Priorities 2022 Conference to be held in Bergen 28-30 April 2022
Kjell Arne Johansson (professor):
- President of the International Society for Priorities in Health (ISPH)
BCEPS early career researchers:
BCEPS early career researchers are active on both an international and national level. A number of BCEPS postdoctoral and doctoral research fellows have advisory roles vis-à-vis the ministries of health in Ethiopia, Malawi and Zanzibar, while a group of BCEPS PhD candidates are behind a national initiative (Grønt helsevesen) to decarbonise Norwegian healthcare.