My PhD has been a thoroughly enjoyable step in the ongoing process of becoming a researcher, and my first step towards becoming a health economist. However, there are many people who have contributed to my getting this far.
My supervisors have guided, assisted and encouraged me throughout my PhD. Both extremely knowledgeable, Marion is organised and practical, while Rosalie challenged my thinking and approach. Together they form an ideal supervision team, and have ignited in me a keen desire to learn more about health economics.
I have also been very lucky to have the opportunity to be based at the Centre for Health Economics Research and Evaluation (CHERE), UTS for my PhD. Being surrounded by talented, enthusiastic health economists from a variety of backgrounds is a great learning environment. I would particularly like to acknowledge the assistance of Liz Chinchen at CHERE with the literature searches and EndNote.
Analysing the Australian Government Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) data was a great opportunity, and I thank Robyn Ward and Sallie-Anne Pearson for providing both access and support. Preeyaporn Srasuebkul helped me enormously to get my head around both the data and SAS. The DVA chapter has been reviewed by DVA prior to submission and the views expressed are not necessarily those of the Australian Government.
Wendy Monaghan, of Wendy Monaghan Editing Service provided professional and helpful editing suggestions, with editorial intervention restricted to Standards D and E of the Australian Standards for Editing Practice.
I am very grateful to the thesis assessors, who provided thoughtful, constructive advice, which I believe has strengthened the thesis and given me ideas for moving forward.
My family have been so supportive throughout a four-year period in which we have all experienced the health care system first hand. These experiences remind me of why health services research is so important. The McMasters Girls have shared ups, downs, gladiator names and wine, and (most importantly) helped me keep perspective.
And to my husband Chris, this has been a different kind of adventure, but I couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you for everything.