The growing profile of health and care

Man going through MRI

In the eighth of our series on the work of the IFoA’s Practice Area Boards, Nick Reilly, outgoing Chair, and Chris Reynolds, incoming Chair of the IFoA’s Health and Care Practice Area Board, round up a busy year for the Board. 

During the 2018/2019 session, the Health and Care Board has focused on ensuring sustainable volunteer engagement to support its outputs, including recruiting an incoming Chair and Deputy Chair and a number of new members to fill skills gaps on the board. At the end of June, Nick Reilly stepped down as Chair, and has been succeeded by Chris Reynolds.  

The new member appointments will support the boards’ goal of ensuring the three main sectors of the health and care practice membership are represented on the board: UK short term/medical insurance, UK protection and group market, and international health and care.

Learning, networking and CPD opportunities

It was regrettable that lower than expected delegate numbers necessitated the cancellation of this year’s Protection, Health and Care Conference. However, thanks to the hard work of the speakers and organisers, we were able to convert the planned content into a very successful and high-quality webinar series.

Excellent feedback has been provided by webinar delegates and the films of the individual webinar sessions are still available to purchase to support your CPD needs. We were pleased that the average feedback score for Health and Care events in 2018/19 remains high at 4.12/5.00.

For 2020, the board will be relaunching the Protection, Health and Care Conference (PHC) as a focused two-day event, with a choice between one- or two-day tickets and plenty of networking opportunities.

We would strongly encourage you to support your practice area by answering the call for speakers, especially if you’ve never done so before.

The PHC is a fantastic conference that cover hot topics in the practice area and provides a perfect environment for networking – no surprise then that it receives consistently high feedback. We encourage all professionals working in the area – not just actuaries – to sign-up to attend this unique event.

Working parties

Over 2018/2019 we increased the exposure of the excellent member-led work in the health and care practice area via an increased number of published newsletter articles and articles in The Actuary.

We have also focused on improving research links with other practice areas, particularly Life, Pensions and GI.

Highlights from 2018–2019 have included working parties presenting their research at the Protection Health and Care Webinar Series in June 2019 including the Population Health Management Working Party.

Other research outputs included sessional meetings by the Antibiotic Resistance Working Party and the Impact of Wearable Technology Working Party and on Hot Topics in Health and Care, regional community events, and a presentation by the Impact of E-Cigarettes on Insured Lives Working Party to the Society of Actuaries Ireland.

The Diabetes Working Party is also making excellent progress and has recently been granted funding by RTLB to deliver a mortality table that captures the impact of recent improved treatments for diabetes.

Finally, the Product Research Group will soon finalise its research paper on an international comparison of Long Term Care, using Australia as a case study.

Policy and public affairs

This sessional year has also underlined the Board’s growing importance in the public interest aspects of health and care provision and consultation and technical expertise has been provided by members of Health and Care Board, sub-committees and various specialist working parties.

Over 2018/19, the Health and Care Board has supported the IFoA in responding to public interest consultations and meetings with stakeholders such as the Department of Health, Diabetes UK and other relevant stakeholders. These have included the London School of Economics and the Lancet Commission consultation on The Future of the NHS and the Economic Affairs Committee enquiry into social care funding in England.

Areas of work for the next year

As the Board looks forward, we will continue to raise the profiles of actuaries working in the Health and Care practice area and support our members by providing rewarding CPD and networking opportunities.

There are many areas of public interest where we should be looking to add value, including developments in social care, mental wellness, electronic cigarettes and diabetes. It’s a long but interesting list that will keep the Board engaged and motivated.

If you want to get involved in the work of the Health and Care Board, watch the IFoA’s volunteer vacancies.

Find out more about the Health and Care Practice Board.