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APQN

Promoting evidence based quiline services across diverse communities in korea

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Financing

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Financing (or the lack of it) is the most important issue in starting a Quitline service. Most public health services face a similar situation. Therefore, each country should prepare a comprehensive business plan that budgets for each and every item of investment and running costs. Generally, the essential core cost is phone tolls, staff salaries, equipment and facilities. Additional costs are expert involvement in the development of service protocol and content, overheads like building and basic infrastructure like telephone and internet use.

Social marketing costs will be the promotion costs to increase awareness of Quitlines and generate calls are also accounted as indirect cost of the Quitline service. Whilst the investment and running costs of setting up a Quitline look very high, health economics show that through Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALY) saved and other measures like cost per quitter etc., Quitlines are a very cost effective interventions and can reduce the cost burden on national health systems. However, it is not easy to gather sufficient money for full Quitline operations. You can justify your calls for funding by establishing evidence base on reach and impact by starting a pilot project with small seed money.

By evaluating this pilot comprehensively, you might be able to demonstrate that the Quitline has a large impact and thus raise fund for ongoing operations and expand the service capacity with support from outside. Your government, non-government organizations, international organizations and research foundations could be candidates for offering financial resource for the pilot and ongoing operations. Donations and charity grants from individuals or industrial companies are also welcomed.

You can save the counselors cost by encouraging participation of volunteers or nonprofessionals. If you want to account the cost for the Quitline service, the cost headings below might be considered.

  • Toll
  • Equipments and facilities for telephone based service 
    • Counselor’s room
    • Computers and online systems
    • Data management system
    • Equipment including desks, telephones and headsets etc. 
  • The number of staff and type of working (full time and/ or part time)
  • Salary per counselor and additional incentives
  • Frequency and contents of education and training for staff
  • Pharmacotherapy and/or NRT(Nicotine Replacement therapy)
  • Other daily consumption for operation