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New biostatistics and modelling unit created within HPSC

By David Lynch - 04th Nov 2022

biostatistics

A permanent modelling and biostatistics unit (MBU) within the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) is currently “being established” and will have four full-time positions, the Medical Independent (MI) has been informed. 

The Department of Health’s Strategic Approach to the Management of Covid-19: Preparedness for Autumn/Winter 2022/23, published last month, noted the importance of the new unit. The document said that a “permanent” modelling and biostatistics unit within the HPSC was “highlighted as a requirement during the pandemic”. 

The Irish epidemiological modelling advisory group has provided statistical and mathematical modelling support and advice to the Chief Medical Officer and health management since the start of the pandemic. 

“This biostatistical and modelling expertise must now be embedded within the public health system,” according to the Department’s strategic document. 

“To this end, a new biostatistics and modelling unit is now being established within the HPSC.” 

A HSE spokesperson told MI that the unit “is in the process of being established”. 

“The position of head of the HPSC MBU has been advertised,” added the spokesperson. 

The MBU will comprise of four key full-time, permanent roles in the HPSC filled by experts in mathematical modelling, biostatistics, statistical epidemiology, and geospatial analysis. 

“The immediate aims of the HPSC MBU will be to take over and build upon work in mathematical modelling biostatistics (estimation of the effective reproduction number; early warning systems), and geospatial analysis (space-time clustering), currently being done by external experts in collaboration with HPSC and other stakeholders.”

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