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BA (Econ), MSc (Op Res), MSc (Comp Sci), MSc (Health Econ) Senior lecturer in health economics
Postgraduate course director (CPH, DPH & Diploma in Health Management)

Teaches PUBH735 The Economics of Health Policy Decision Making, PUBH736 Economic Evaluation

Contact details

Tel +64 4 918 4617
Email william.leung@otago.ac.nz

Research interests and activities

William is the University of Otago, Wellington School of Medicine's health economist. Recent projects have included meta-analyses of the effect of calcium intake on fracture and bone mineral density (with Distinguished Professor Ian Reid), and within-trial and decision-analytic cost-effectiveness analyses in areas such as CVD, diabetes, mental health, oncology, physical activity, respiratory disease, smoking cessation, and sun safety. He is leading the economic component of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-funded Southern Hemisphere Influenza and Vaccine Effectiveness Research and Surveillance (SHIVERS) multi-agency project (Professor Michael Baker), and is part of several international health economics collaborations eg Single Pill to Avert Cardiovascular Events, multiple sclerosis, neuro-endocrine tumours, and rheumatic fever.

Within New Zealand, he is involved with external consultancy work for government agencies, often with health economist colleagues in Dunedin campus, where he is a consulting health economist. For example, The Royal Society of New Zealand's 2017 evidence update of antimicrobial resistance, and peer reviewing, for the Social Policy Evaluation and Research Unit (Families Commission), PwC's economic evaluation of the Prime Minister's $64m Youth Mental Health Project.

Before training as a health economist at the University of York, he was an operational research analyst (working with Professor Val Belton, Dr. Mark Elder and others) in the British National Health Service applying discrete-event simulation and other tools to modelling cancer treatment pathways.

Teaching and service

William is the postgraduate course director for the CPH, DPH, and Diploma in Health Management. His term as chair of the tri-campus Public Health Academic Committee, which has operational/academic oversight of the taught programmes, ended in January 2019; the current chair is Dr Trudy Sullivan.

He teaches PUBH 735 “The Economics of Health Policy Decision Making” (Dr Brian Easton in 2019), PUBH 736 “Economic Evaluation” (overall convenor), and contributed to the undergraduate medical programme.

In partnership with one of the global Big Four accounting firms, William has offered students paid internships and placements with them.

Student supervision

“Observations, and cost-effectiveness, of sun protection in schools”.
Primary supervisor of Ryan Gage's MPH in the Health Promotion and Policy Research Unit. Data from Professor Louise Signal's Kids'Cam project were used. The thesis was published in the following international journals: Health Education & Behavior; Health Promotion International; and Photochemistry & Photobiology.

“The Waikōura Framework: A bicultural systems model for management of Lake Rotorua”.
Co-supervisor of Mereana Wilson's extramural MPH in the Health Environment and Infection Research Unit. In collaboration with the Ministry for the Environment, Professor Graeme Doole, and Dr Paul Blaschke, a system dynamics model was designed and built to estimate the impact various freshwater management interventions have on lake health from a Māori and standard scientific perspective. Awarded a distinction-level pass.

Publications

Gordon, L. G., Leung, W., Johns, R., McNoe, B., Lindsay, D., Merollini, K. M. D., … Whiteman, D. C. (2022). Estimated healthcare costs of melanoma and keratinocyte skin cancers in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand in 2021. International Journal of Environmental Research & Public Health, 19, 3178. doi: 10.3390/ijerph19063178

Leung, W., Roberts, V., Gordon, L. G., Bullen, C., McRobbie, H., Prapavessis, H., … Maddison, R. (2017). Economic evaluation of an exercise-counselling intervention to enhance smoking cessation outcomes: The Fit2Quit trial. Tobacco Induced Diseases, 15, 21. doi: 10.1186/s12971-017-0126-y

Leung, W., Kvizhinadze, G., Nair, N., & Blakely, T. (2016). Adjuvant trastuzumab in HER2-positive early breast cancer by age and hormone receptor status: A cost-utility analysis. PLoS Medicine, 13(8), e1002067. doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1002067

Bolland, M. J., Leung, W., Tai, V., Bastin, S., Gamble, G. D., Grey, A., & Reid, I. R. (2015). Calcium intake and risk of fracture: Systematic review. BMJ, 351, h4580. doi: 10.1136/bmj.h4580

Tai, V., Leung, W., Grey, A., Reid, I. R., & Bolland, M. J. (2015). Calcium intake and bone mineral density: Systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ, 351, h4183. doi: 10.1136/bmj.h4183

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