Imperial College London

Emeritus ProfessorPeterSmith

Business School

Emeritus Professor of Health Policy



peter.smith Website CV




c/o Lorraine SheehyBusiness School BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Peter Smith explores the link between research evidence and public policy, especially in the health domain. He is particularly interested in the way that rigorous economic methodology can be adapted and used to inform health policy. Previous work has explored areas such as provider payment methods, strategic resource allocation, hospital waiting times and the behavioural consequences of provider performance measurement.

Current work is focusing predominantly on international comparison and economic aspects of global health. Topics include:

  • the comparison of health system performance (especially efficiency);
  • methods to select the basket of health services to be publicly funded, especially in low and middle income settings;
  • the transition towards universal health coverage
  • links between the health system and the broader economy.

Guest Lectures

Models of weighted capitation for primary health care, Seminar on Financing Primary Health Care, Brazilian Ministry of Health, Brasilia, 2019

Re-thinking health and wellbeing: how health systems contribute to economic and societal progress, European Observatory seminar on Health and Wellbeing, 74th UN General Assembly, New York, 2019

Accounting for social risk in medical and social service payments: the English experience, American Board of Family Medicine Embassy Series Event, UK Embassy, Washington DC, 2019

Health systems performance assessment - what is it all about?, Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, 2019

Methodological issues in setting the health benefits package, Indian Institute of Public Health Workshop, Guwahati, 2019

Cross-sectoral interventions for non-communicable disease prevention, Prince Mahidol Award Conference, Bangkok, 2019

Budget impact and expenditure caps: potential or pitfall?, ISPOR Europe Conference, Barcelona, 2018

Fiscal sustainability: are health systems the problem or the solution?, Opening Plenary, 21st European Health Policy Forum, Gastein, Austria, 2018

Affordable innovative health systems, Plenary, Workshop on the healthcare value chain: data and cooperation for efficiency gains, European Commission, Brussels, 2018

Is there an economic case for investing in the NHS? Really?, Annual Lecture, Office of Health Economics, 2018

Influencing health policy in a post-truth era: the role of health economics, Opening Plenary, Nordic Health Economics Study Group, Tromsø, 2018

Reframing the dialogue between health and finance on investing in health systems, World Health Organization Conference on Health Systems for Prosperity and Solidarity, Tallinn, 2018

The role of health economics in a ‘Post-Truth’ Era, Opening Plenary, UK Health Economics Study Group, London, 2018

The state of the art in risk adjustment research in some non-competitive health care systems, Invited lecture, Risk Adjustment Network annual conference, The Hague, 2017

Measuring and improving productivity in the health sector, Conference on Sustaining Health and Social Care Systems in Ageing Societies, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Paris, 2017

Design of the Health Benefits Package: principles and key methodological issues, Opening Plenary, 6th HTAsiaLink Conference, Hanoi, 2017

Developing a framework for evaluating interventions aimed at health system strengthening, Launch of China Health Technology Assessment Network, Xiamen, 2017

Guiding patients to the best point of service, 17th European Health Forum, Gastein Austria, 2016

How can health economics research help policymakers improve health system performance?, Opening Plenary, German Health Economics Association, Berlin, 2016

Where have we got to in understanding health system efficiency?, Inter-American Development Bank, Washington DC, 2016

Emergency readmissions to hospital: a good measure of health system performance?, Opening Plenary, Austrian Health Economics Association, Vienna, 2016

The fundamentals of choosing a health benefits package, Prince Mahidol Award Conference, Bangkok, 2016

The role of practitioner motivation in designing provider payment reforms and other incentives, Commonwealth Fund International Symposium on Health Policy, Washington DC, 2015

Efficiency in health systems: what can economics contribute?, Inaugural Lecture, Masters Programme in Economics, Finance and International Integration, University of Pavia, Pavia, 2015

Performance targets for public services: some UK experience, Keynote, Annual Conference KORA, Danish Institute for Local and Regional Government Research, Copenhagen, 2015

Comparing health systems: holy grail or fool’s gold?, Public Lecture Series Spreestadt-Forum, Technische Universität Berlin, Berlin, 2015

Strategies for health system performance comparison: some international experience, Queen's University Health Policy Conference, Toronto, 2015

Improving policy and practice for infectious diseases: the role of economic thinking, Institute of Tropical Medicine Colloquium, Antwerp, 2014

Health systems and health system performance: the scope for action at the European level, 17th European Health Forum, Gastein, Austria, 2014

The role of primary health care in controlling the cost of specialist health care, Symposium on Integration and Coordination of Long-term Care for the Elderly, Seijo University, Tokyo, 2014

Hospital quality and costs: evidence from England, Centre pour la Recherche Economique at ses Applications, Paris, 2014

The contribution of efficiency gains to universal health coverage, World Health Organization Course on Health Financing, Barcelona, 2014

Economic aspects of universal health coverage, Symposium on Universal Health Coverage, Economic Research Southern Africa, Stellenbosh University, 2014

Rationing health care: the use of explicit health benefits packages, Rockefeller Foundation, New York, 2014

Performance measurement for health system improvement, European Union Ministerial Conference on Sustainable Health Systems, Vilnius, 2013

What can health economists do for health systems?, 16th European Health Forum, Gastein Austria, 2013

Health system efficiency: what can health economists contribute?, Plenary, 9th World Congress, International Health Economics Association, Sydney, 2013

Strategic targets for public services: lessons from the English experience, Annual Tansley Lecture, University of Regina, Regina, Canada, 2013

Improving efficiency in health care to increase value for money: reality or illusion?, Italian Federation of Health Authorities, Rome, 2013

Principes économiques pour l’élaboration des choix en santé, Haute Autorité de Santé, Paris, 2012

Pay-for-performance in health services: where have we got to?, World Bank Interagency Working Group on Results-Based Financing, Geneva, 2012

What is the scope for efficiency gains and how can they be achieved?, Collège de la Haute Autorité de Santé, Paris, 2012

The role of primary health care in controlling the cost of specialist health care, Nordic Economic Forum on Challenges in Health Care Financing and Provision, Reykjavik, 2012

Healthcare in Europe: a macroeconomic perspective, Plenary, 8th National Healthcare Conference, Dublin, 2012

Private health insurance alongside a publicly funded system, International Workshop on the Role and Function of Private and Public Health Insurances, Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo, 2012

Measuring the impact and outcome of universal coverage, Prince Mahidol Award Conference, Bangkok, 2012

Health system performance assessment, World Health Organization and World Bank Flagship Programme,, Tallinn, 2011

Giving primary care physicians budgets to purchase their patients’ healthcare, World Health Summit, Berlin, 2011

Health system performance comparison: progress, challenges and opportunities, Symposium Leistungsfähigkeit von Gesundheitssystemen, University of Graz, Graz, 2011

The evolution of waiting time policy in England, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Paris, 2011

Giving primary care physicians budgets to purchase their patients’ healthcare, Vienna Healthcare Lectures, Vienna, 2011

Vignettes and health system responsiveness in cross-country comparative analyses, Royal Statistical Society and 58th World Statistics Congress, Dublin, 2011

Measuring performance for health system improvement, Canadian Institute for Health Information, Toronto, 2011

England: Europe’s health care reform laboratory?, International Monetary Fund, Paris, 2011

Towards a global charter for health information, Global Health Metrics and Evaluation Conference, Seattle, 2011

Health System Performance Comparison, World Health Organization First European Health Policy Forum, Andorra, 2011

Plenary: measuring and improving health system productivity, Collège des Economistes de la Santé annual conference, Lyon, 2010

Leadership and governance in seven developed health systems, Commonwealth Fund International Symposium on Health Policy, Washington DC, 2010

English Health Reforms: what is in them for Sweden?, Inaugural Conference of the Swedish Health Economics Association, Stockholm, 2010

Ethical implications of online health and telemedicine, Nuffield Council on Bioethics, Law Society, London, 2010

How should economic evidence be put into practice?, World Health Summit, Berlin, 2010

Performance measurement for health system improvement, Andalusian School of Public Health, Granada, 2010

System-wide efforts to reform incentives: the English experience, Commonwealth Fund Conference on Improving Quality of Health Care in the US and UK, Boston, 2010

Performance measurement: what we know, and what we don't, Conference on Quality Care, Everyone's Business, Royal College of Physicians, London, 2010

Plenary: using performance information for quality and efficiency improvement: the international experience, Veterans Health Administration Annual Conference, San Francisco, 2010

Plenary: paying for performance in health services: lessons from the UK experience, Caisse nationale de l'assurance maladie des travailleurs salariés, annual conference, Lyon, 2010

Do quality improvements in primary care reduce secondary care costs?, Swiss School of Public Health, Crans-Montana, 2010

Intersectoral action on the social determinants of health: an economic perspective, World Health Organization Conference on Intersectoral Action, Viña del Mar, Chile, 2010

Accountability and Health System Performance Assessment, World Health Organization Conference on Health System Performance Assessment, Ankara, 2009

Payment systems in English healthcare: effects on quality, efficiency and coordination, Commonwealth Fund International Symposium on Health Policy, Washington DC, 2009

Performance information for improved health, 6th Nestlé International Nutrition Symposium, Lausanne, 2009

Provider competition and efficiency in health care, World Health Organization Conference on Health Care Systems in Europe, Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, 2009

Plenary: some recent innovations linking health services quality to costs, Norwegian Knowledge Center for Health Services Annual Conference, Bergen, 2009

Paying for performance in health services: lessons from the UK experience, World Bank, Washington DC, 2009

The link between health care spending and health outcomes: implications for the threshold, National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, London, 2009

23rd Annual Health Services Research Lecture: does performance measurement improve the quality of care?, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, 2009

Health system performance: how does the UK shape up?, Lancet Health of the Nation Summit, London, 2009