HERU was established at the University of Aberdeen in 1977. The Unit is part of the Division of Applied Health Sciences within the College of Life Sciences and Medicine. Core funding for the Unit is received from the Chief Scientist Office (CSO) of the Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorates. Substantial additional funding also comes from competitive research grants, training activities, commissioned research, and the University of Aberdeen.
The aim of the Unit is to develop and encourage the application of appropriate economic methods to improve health and health care in Scotland.
More specifically, the aim is to:
- Research into economic approaches to health and health care at standards of international excellence;
- Develop and apply economic techniques to improve health care and population health in Scotland;
- Make available to the health service a body of expertise in health economics; and
- Build and sustain capacity in the economics of health
The objectives are pursued through two programmes of research: Behaviour, Health and Health Systems (BHHS) and Preference Elicitation and Assessment of Technologies (PEAT)
The Unit runs a distance learning course for health care professionals and contributes to teaching health economics on the MSc in Health Services and Public Health Research, BSc in Health Sciences, MA in Economics and MSc Economics of health at the University of Aberdeen and the Scottish Graduate Programme in Economics. A Unit Advisory Group (UAG) supports the activities of HERU. It meets annually to review progress and to monitor the Unit's implementation of the recommendations from the previous CSO Review. It offers advice on the strategic direction of the Unit's research.