Cost-effectiveness of neonatal surgery: first greeted with scepticism, now increasingly accepted

Marten Poleij, Werner Brouwer, Jan van Busschbach, FWJ (Frans) Hazebroek, Dick Tibboel, FFH Rutten, Jan Molenaar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Mortality rates in neonatal surgery have dropped markedly, illustrating the enormous progress made. Yet, new questions have arisen. To mention one, health care budgets have tightened. It follows that the effects of medical interventions should be weighted against their costs. As evidence was particularly sparse, we set out to analyse cost-effectiveness of neonatal surgery. The purpose of this article is to summarise our findings and to review recent studies. Moreover, this article explains the relevance of cost-effectiveness analysis and explores how cost-effectiveness interacts with other determinants of health care priority setting. Our research revealed that treatments for two common diagnostic categories in neonatal surgery (congenital anorectal malformations and congenital diaphragmatic hernia) produce good cost-effectiveness. Other groups also published cost-effectiveness studies in the field of neonatal surgery, although their number is still small. Contemporaneously, the economic aspects of health care have captured the interest of policy makers. Importantly, this is not to say that there are no other factors playing a role in priority setting, foremost among which are ethical questions and arguments of equity. This article concludes that, according to present evidence, neonatal surgery yields good value for money and contributes to equity in health.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)119-127
Number of pages9
JournalPediatric Surgery International
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Research programs

  • EMC NIHES-05-63-02 Quality
  • EMC MGC-02-53-01-A

Cite this