The results of a study commissioned by the McConnell Foundation and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to look at options to enhance investments in health and social programs using four case studies in the areas of mental health, child and youth health, food security, and intergenerational trauma will be presented at CHEPA’s first seminar of the academic year on September 18 by Dr. Jerry Hurley, Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences & Professor of Economics, and Dr. Jean-Eric Tarride, CHEPA Director, McMaster Chair in Health Technology Management & Professor of Health Technology Assessment.
The presentation, entitled: "Spurring Health and Social Investment: Asset Recognition for Investments in Prevention and Early Intervention," will take place in CRL-B119 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. All are welcome to attend. It will also be streamed and recorded online, using WebEx. The password is CHEPAseminar. To participate remotely, copy and paste this link into your browser: https://mcmaster.webex.com/mcmaster/j.php?MTID=m9da1566400f5efa77e8d78ce22e3dc42
When a government invests in building a tangible physical asset, such as a bridge whose useful life spans many years, the standards set by the Public Sector Accounting Board (PSAB) allow government to recognize this new asset on its balance sheet and to amortize the construction costs of the bridge over its useful life.
In contrast, if government invests the same amount of money to create program infrastructure needed to provide a prevention program such as vaccinations that will generate health and financial benefits to society over many years, government is not allowed to recognize the intangible asset created or to amortize its costs over the useful life of the program infrastructure; government must record all the program’s infrastructure costs in the year they arise.
This differential ability to recognize tangible and intangible assets can make investments in physical, tangible assets more attractive than investments in health and social programs that produce intangible, but real, assets, a difference that in principle advantages investments in tangible assets over investments in intangible assets created by health, social and educational programs for prevention and early intervention.