Technological innovation has a significant role in improving health systems (HSs) and achieving universal health coverage. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared resolutions on Health Technology Assessment (HTA) and other global organizations emphasized on HTA systems to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). HTA is a modern multidisciplinary decision-making framework linking knowledge and policymaking in order to provide evidence to leaders and ensuring the value of resources by evaluating properties, effects, and/or impacts. The scope of HTA focuses on conducting assessments and analyses to investigate the medical, social, economic, organizational and ethical issues within health and social systems for generating management and technical solutions. HTA is important as it is rapidly growing and is seen as an essential development approach to tackle existing challenges, particularly in developing countries as they share most of the health burdens worldwide.
The research aims to comprehensively evaluate HTA within the health and social systems and understand HTA within the national health system with regards to the level of knowledge about HTA, current HTA practices, application, capacity, gaps, and solutions by investigating the perceptions of health systems’ stakeholders in five countries, Canada, Switzerland, Lebanon, Palestine, and Tanzania selected according to the World Bank income classification.
The project will last 12 months starts in January 2021 and ends in January 2022. A mixed-methods, quantitative and qualitative, along with a scoping review will be applied. In each country, fifty semi-structured questionnaires, twenty in-depth interviews, and one national focus group discussion will be conducted with health experts, managers, and policymakers selected purposively from the 1st and 2nd levels of the HS structure. Excel, IBM Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS), and MAXQDA 12 (VERBI GmbH, Berlin) software programs will be used for data management and analysis.
The research will form cutting-edge evidence and reference not only for the six countries, but also for the global, regional, and national endeavors with regards to opening a room for HTA best application and optimization based on the produced knowledge from this research. It will reveal lessons learned, determine gaps, and set an applicable strengthening framework for HTA. This framework will eventually aid the decision and policymakers in these countries, and other similar countries and international organizations to build a well-enabled and institutionalized HTA for better universal health coverage, health systems, and multi-sectoral development.