Patras – 1982

Brief Report on the Eighth Meeting, held at the University of Patras, Greece, 19th-23rd July 1982
Edited by Duncan Boldy, Chairman of the Working Group, and Aris Sissouras – Organiser of the Meeting

The Patras meeting represents the eighth meeting of the working group and was attended by 41 participants from 14 different countries.  Following the decision at last year’s meeting to advertise the meeting wider afield, attenders included 6 from North America and, for the first time, one from Eastern Europe (Poland).  However the idea of a joint discussion session between Health O.R. Scientists and Health Economists did not materialise.

Participants were welcomed by the Dean of the School of Engineering, University of Patras and the official opening was performed by the Greek Deputy Minister of Health and Social Services.  This was then followed by a Plenary Session presentation by Brian Moores of an invited paper entitled “Changing Direction: An Operational Researcher’s Apology”.

In further welcoming participants to the meeting, the chairman referred to the following members who were unable to attend, but who had sent their apologies: Anke Muller-Sloos (Holland, not longer working in the health field, but still wishes to keep in touch with the group), John Luckman (U.K.), Ciaran O’Kane (U.K.), Paolo Puliafito (Italy), Reginal Canvin (U.K.) and Charles Tilquin (Canada).

The chairman informed members that EURO had granted a loan of £500 for use in the planning of this year’s meeting.  At the request of EURO, he had prepared a report on the working group setting out its purpose, history, activities to date and organisation. This was scheduled for publication in EJOR, probably in the January 1983 issue.  The chairman also informed members that this was to be his last meeting as chairman, as he had held the position since the creation of the group in 1975 and that it was likely that he would be working outside Europe next year.  Despite this, he indicated his wish to be kept in touch with the working group’s future activities.

Papers submitted and presented by participants during the conference totalled 20, grouped under the main headings of: Hospital Management, Computer/M.I.S. in Medical Care, Resource Allocation and General.

A number of successful social activities were organised for members and guests including excursions to Delphi and Olympia.

In the final plenary session, members discussed the election of a new chairman.  Mårten Lagergren and Cathal Lennon were proposed, but Cathal declined to stand and Mårten was elected unanimously.

Regarding joint projects ideas, Clemens Dietrich reported on the results of his questionnaire concerning Cancer Early Detection Programmes in different countries.  Apart from a possible joint project related to an examination of reasons behind the variation between countries in the rate of participation in certain early detection programmes, he saw little opportunity for further collaboration.  Clemens also reported that it was now most unlikely that the Bosch Foundation would fund the joint project proposal related to the cost-effectiveness of home accident prevention.

Einar Matson presented some preliminary ideas regarding possible projects in the field of Drug Abuse Control and undertook to expand on his ideas in a written paper to be circulated to representatives of each country covered by the group membership.  Clemens Dietrich indicated that his company might be prepared to fund a small meeting of working group members with appropriate “experts” in order to prepare a research proposal for submission for funding.

Regarding publishing the proceedings of the Patras conference (and possibly some papers presented at earlier meetings), Aris Sissouras announced that North-Holland had indicated an interest in this.

In discussing the future, the group confirmed its general wish to hold its main meetings separate from other EURO events, such as EURO Congresses.  This was to avoid the constraints of particular dates, locations and increased costs.  However, Duncan Boldy suggested that the group, if it wished to retain its EURO title and links, should hold at least one of its future meetings in conjunction with an EURO Congress.  One possibility for EURO VI (Vienna, July 19-22, 1983) was to encourage at least some members to contribute to the proposed session on O.R. applications in health being organised by Klaus Hansen.

Following this discussion, the group agreed to hold next year’s meeting in Denmark (probably Copenhagen), possibly during the first week in August, with Sune Petersen as organiser, assisted by Herbert Zöllner.  Sune briefly outlined his ideas concerning the meeting (“Workshop on Health O.R. and Economics”), which included bringing operational researchers and economists together and having one-day sessions on one or more of the following topics:

(i)                 Shifting the balance of care for the elderly away from institutional care,

(ii)               Information feed-back between inpatient hospital and community health and social care,

(iii)             Cost control and quality assurance at the regional level,

(iv)              The training of doctors, nurses, hospital administrators and possible politicians in O.R and health economics.

The idea of “commissioning” an invited survey/review paper for each of the sessions finally included in the programme was supported.

It was also provisionally agreed to hold the 1984 meeting of the group in Italy with Elvezio Montesarchio as organiser.

In addition to EURO VI, a brief mention was also made of other related future meetings, namely:

(a)               SYSTED 8 (International Conference on Systems Science in Health-Social Services for the Elderly and the Disabled), Montreal, July 10-16, 1983.  Contact Charles Tilquin (or Duncan Boldy).

(b)               SSHC 3 (International Conference on Systems Science in Health Care), Munich, July 1984.  Contact Clemens Dietrich.

List of Attenders

Mr. A. Ament – The Netherlands

Mr. Nicky Assimakopoulos – United Kingdom

Dr. Allen Berkowitz – U.S.A.

Mr. Alessandro Bignotti – Italy

Dr. Duncan Boldy – United Kingdom

Mr. Tom Bowen – United Kingdom

Mr. Louis Delorme – Canada

Dr. Clemens Dietrich – Germany

Dr. Ugo Fattori – Italy

Dr. Alberto Franci – Italy

Dr. Umberto Giani – Italy

Mr. Michael Grütz – Germany

Mr. Heinz Harland – Germany

Mr. Chan Himatsingani – United Kingdom

Mr. Neil Howell – United Kingdom

Dr. Matthias Jarke – Germany

Dr. Birsen Karpak – Turkey

Professor Arshad M. Khan – U.S.A.

Mr. Michael Kirkels – The Netherlands

Mr. Mårten Lagergren – Sweden

Dr. Cathal Lennon – Ireland

Mr. Costa Loucopoulos – Greece

Dr. Marek Lubicz – Poland

Mr. John MacFarlane – United Kingdom

Dr. Einar Matson – Norway

Dr. Elvezio Montesarchio – Italy

Dr. Brian Moores – United Kingdom

Mr. Jack Moshman – U.S.A.

Mr. Sune V. Petersen – Denmark

Dr. Valerio Raganelli – Italy

Dr. Giorgio Romanin-Jacur – Italy

Dr. Costas Sapountzis – Greece

Mr. J. A. M. Schreuder – The Netherlands

Dr. Leif Sonkin – Finland

Professor Aris Sissouras – Greece

Professor Larry Stanfel – U.S.A.

Dr. Joseph van Aert – The Netherlands

Mr. M Verkooyen – The Netherlands

Mr. J Vissers – The Netherlands

Miss Cynthia Yonker – United Kingdom

Professor Steve Zanakis – U.S.A.

List of Papers Presented

        Opening Plenary Session – Invited Paper

 “Changing Direction : An Operational Researcher’s Apology” – B. Moores (U.K.)

        Hospital Management

“Cost Containment in a General Hospital” – C. Lennon (Ireland)

“Patient Attitudes to their Hospital Care” – B. Moores (U.K.)

“A Framework for the Evaluation of Hospital Infection Control Techniques” – M. Jarke (W. Germany)

“The Value of Information in Hospital Admission Policies” – J.D. MacFarlane (U.K.)

“Hospital Bed Location/Allocation” – S.H.Zanakis (U.S.A.)

“Profile of General Hospitals in Almelo” – J.A.M. Schreuder (Holland)

        Computers/M.I.S. in Medical Care

“Hospital Patient Management Information Systems – Possibilities and Potential Benefits” – N. Howell (U.K.)

“A Computerised Cost-Accounting System in German Hospitals” – H. Harland (W. Germany)

“Microcomputers for Resource Allocation and Capital Planning” – A.M. Khan (U.S.A.)

        Resource Allocation

“A Multiregional Equilibrium Model for Resource Allocation in a Health Care System” – L. Delorme and J.M. Rouseau (Canada)

“On the Car-Ambulance Location/Allocation Problem with Stationary and Variable Parameters” – M. Lubicz (Poland)

“Paediatric Assistance on the Territory : A Problem of Optimal Allocation” – G. Andreatta and G. Romanin-Jacur (Italy)

“Resource Allocation in Health Services” – N. Assimakopoulos (Greece)


“The Contribution of O.R. to the Management of Health Services – A Clinical Viewpoint” – U. Giani (Italy)

“Applications of Clustering Algorithms to Cancer Mortality Data” – L.E. Stanfel (U.S.A.)

“Efficiency and Efficacy of Public Manpower Planning” – V. Raganelli and A. La Brunna (Italy)

“A New Design for Surveillance and Utilisation Review Systems” – A. Berkowitz, L. Lantz and I. Reeves (U.S.A.)

“A National Scale of Relative Prices of High Volume Medical Procedures” – J. Moshman (U.S.A.)

“Aspects of Blood Transfusion Planning” – L. Sonkin (Finland)

“Forecasting the Number of People Insured at I.K.A. (Social Insurance Institute)” – C. Sapountzis (Greece)