• E-mailKjell.Johansson@uib.no
  • Phone+47 55 58 61 64
  • Visitor Address
    Årstadveien 21
    5009 Bergen
  • Postal Address
    Postboks 7804
    5020 Bergen

Kjell Arne Johansson is working academically as a professor of medical ethics and philosophy of science, Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care, University of Bergen and clincially as a physician in the field of drug addiction, Department of Drug Addiction, Haukeland University Hospital.

Kjell Arne Johansson has many years of experience in conducting research on population ethics and in developing novel methods for fair priority setting in global health and in applying them to low- and high-income country settings. His key competencies are: population ethics and distributive implications of health care, including economic evaluations, equality of health outcomes and financial risk protection. Over the last five years, his research focus has been on applied equity impact modelling, seeking to understand the broader implications of improved health care coverage by using mathematical population models. In particular, he has contributed to three equity impact methods: Extended Cost Effectiveness analysis (ECEAs), severity of disease analysis and Distributive Cost Effectiveness Analysis (DCEA). He is now the president of the International Society for Priority Setting in Health (ISPH).

Core competencies: clinical ethics and bedside rationing; economic evaluation, including CEA, ECEA and DCEA; global health; priority setting in health care.

Teaching activities

2005-current   Responsible, together with Ingrid Miljeteig, for teaching at courses in medical ethics for medical students at University of Bergen.

2007-current   The ethics of global health and priority setting (part of general course in Global Health, 30 ECTS). Responsibility in establishment of this course, and now teaching.

2007-current   Responsible for teaching in ethics of priority setting in global health in various courses for graduate students at Master level, Centre for International Health, University of Bergen

2005-current   Several 1-2 hour lectures on medical ethics and priority setting at different courses arranged at the Faculty of Medicine and elsewhere (e.g. Human Rights, International Health, Refugees, Autonomy, Priority Setting, Reproductive Health, Social Determinant of Health, Specialist courses for Medical Doctors)


Supervision of graduate students:

Completed supervision: 3 PhDs (main supervisor), 3 Master's (main and co-supervisor), 2 PhD tracks (main supervisor), 9 research theses for medical students

Supervision in progress: 1 PhD (main supervisor), 7 PhDs (co-supervisor), 4 Master’s (co-supervisor

20 latest peer-reviewed publications

  • 2021. Generalised cost-effectiveness analysis of 159 health interventions for the Ethiopian essential health service package. Cost Effectiveness and Resource Allocation.
  • 2020. Too much or too little opioids to patients receiving opioid agonist therapy in Norway (2013-2017): a prospective cohort study. BMC Health Services Research. 10 pages.
  • 2020. Time for global health diplomacy. The Lancet. 1691-1692.
  • 2020. Revision of the Ethiopian Essential Health Service Package: An Explication of the Process and Methods Used. Health Systems & Reform.
  • 2020. Pulse oximeter with integrated management of childhood illness for diagnosis of severe childhood pneumonia at rural health institutions in Southern Ethiopia: Results from a cluster-randomised controlled trial. BMJ Open. 1-10.
  • 2020. Protecting essential health services in low-income and middle-income countries and humanitarian settings while responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. 1-9.
  • 2020. Potentially addictive drugs dispensing to patients receiving opioid agonist therapy: a register-based prospective cohort study in Norway and Sweden from 2015 to 2017. BMJ Open. 1-10.
  • 2020. On the path towards universal coverage of hepatitis C treatment among people receiving opioid agonist therapy (OAT) in Norway: A prospective cohort study from 2013 to 2017. BMJ Open. 1-9.
  • 2020. Impact of clinical and sociodemographic factors on fatigue among patients with substance use disorder: a cohort study from Norway for the period 2016–2020. Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy. 11 pages.
  • 2020. Health-related quality of life of long-term patients receiving opioid agonist therapy: a nested prospective cohort study in Norway. Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy. 1-12.
  • 2020. Health by disease categories. . In:
    • 2020. Distributional Cost-Effectiveness Analysis. Oxford University Press.
  • 2020. Estimating health adjusted age at death (HAAD). PLOS ONE. 1-15.
  • 2020. Dispensations of benzodiazepines, z-hypnotics, and gabapentinoids to patients receiving opioid agonist therapy; A prospective cohort study in Norway from 2013 to 2017. BMC Health Services Research. 1-12.
  • 2020. Dispensation of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medications in patients receiving opioid agonist therapy; A national prospective cohort study in Norway from 2015 to 2017. BMC Psychiatry. 1-12.
  • 2020. Financial risk of seeking maternal and neonatal healthcare in southern Ethiopia: a cohort study of rural households. International Journal for Equity in Health.
  • 2019. Utilisation of health services fails to meet the needs of pregnancy-related illnesses in rural southern Ethiopia: A prospective cohort study. PLOS ONE. 1-22.
  • 2019. Low immunization coverage in Wonago district, southern Ethiopia: A community-based cross-sectional study. PLOS ONE.
  • 2019. Country contextualisation of cost-effectiveness studies: lessons from Ethiopia. BMJ Global Health. 1-9.
  • 2019. A flexible formula for incorporating distributive concerns into cost-effectiveness analyses: Priority weights. PLOS ONE. 1-12.
  • 2019. A cost-effectiveness analysis of maternal and neonatal health interventions in Ethiopia. Health Policy and Planning. 289-297.

More information in national current research information system (CRIStin)

2018-current   Chair of International Society for Priority Setting in Health

2017 (jan.august) Head of teaching at Dpt. of Global Public Health and Primary Care

2016 (jan-aug)Leader of Bergen Addiction Research group, Haukeland University Hospital

2013-2015      Leader of Global Health Priorities (research group with seven senior researchers and more than 15 PhD students), Department of Global Public Health, University of Bergen

2013-2014      Leader of Profession Group in teaching of Public Health and Epidemiology (teaching consortium for around 30 academics with educational responsibilities), Department of Global Public Health, University of Bergen

2013-2015      Leader of research project Global Health Priorities 2020, research grant from Research Council of Norway 

2007-2008      Member of Faculty Research Board, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, UiB




At Bergen Center for Ethics and Priority Setting (BCEPS), Kjell Arne Johansson is leading two of the five work packages the center is organized around the next five years; a) priority decision support tools; and b) essential health care package for NCDI in Zanzibar.


- Providing efficient, effective and equitable health care in Ethiopis

This Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) funded project will involve capacity-building at Ethiopia’s Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH). Entitled Disease Control Priorities-Ethiopia (DCP-E), the project will train Ethiopian researchers and policymakers in health economics, decision sciences and priority setting. The training will enable them to generate an evidence base for designing, developing and implementing essential health services for FMOH, and may be used, in particular, to help revise Ethiopia’s current essential health services package.


Poverty and Equity cKMC

- Community initiated Kangaroo Mother Care for low birth weight infants: a poverty and equity impact evaluation

Embedded in the ongoing main CISMAC trial, which estimates the survival benefits of promoting Kangaroo Mother Care at home (cKMC) to low birth weight (LBW) babies, this study will use the concentration index to estimate whether socioeconomic inequality in neonatal and early infant survival is more pronounced in the intervention or in the control groups. Further, this extension of the trial will estimate the household out-of-pocket expenses for illnesses that may be prevented by cKMC. It will also assess the extent to which out-of-pocket expenses for health care contribute to household impoverishment. Should cKMC prove effective in enhancing equity in child survival and in substantially reducing family expenditures, possibly even preventing catastrophic health expenditures, the findings of this added study could be of critical importance for scaling up Kangaroo Mother Care in India, as well as in other countries where many babies are born with LBW. Together with Sarmila Mazumder, Society for Applied Studies, India, Kjell Arne Johansson is the principal investigator.



- Integrated treatment of hepatitis C virus infection: a randomised controlled trial

This is a randomised controlled trial that estimates the effect of providing integrated hepatitis C treatment to patients with injecting opioid addiction. Those receiving medically assisted rehabilitation (MAR) often have poorer access to health care than the general population, and between 50-70% of all injectiong drug users in Bergen are estimated to be infected with hepatitis C virus. To end the hepatitis C epidemic, finding the best delivery platforms to provide the new and expensive antiviral heaptitis C drugs is crucial. Therefore, this study will provide new knowledge about how to improve patient care, MAR healthcare and to help access more of those in need of hepatitis C treatment. We want to test if integrated treatment is more effective than today's model.