Sisira Sarma, PhD

Dr. Sarma


P: 519.661.2111 ext: 87583
F: 519.661.3766

I am interested in supervising graduate students at the MSc and PhD levels on topics related to health economics, especially the economics of primary health care, economic evaluation of health interventions, analysis of health care costs and health outcomes, and economics of the social and environmental determinants of health. Interested applicants are encouraged to contact me to discuss potential projects. Please see my web site for additional details.


  • Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Research Cluster Membership

Research Interests

  • Health Economics
  • Health Policy
  • Cost-Effectiveness
  • Health Services Research
  • Health Inequality


  • BA (Honours) Economics
  • MA Economics
  • M.Phil Economics
  • PhD Economics

Recent Research Grants

  • Sarma et al. Primary care reform and inequalities in the utilization of healthcare services and health status (CIHR Project Grant; 2021-2025).
  • Sarma et al. Formation of Ontario Health Teams and Quadruple-aim Outcomes: Quasi-experimental Evaluation (CIHR Catalyst Grant; 2022-2023).
  • Sarma et al. Access to primary care, preventive care, chronic disease management and patient outcomes in alternative primary care remuneration models (CIHR Project Grant Priority Announcement: Health Services and Policy Research; 2022-2023).
  • Kim et al. Integrated Precision Medicine Technology and Approach for Optimal Drug Therapy for Canadians (CIHR Team Grant: Personalized Health; 2021-2025).

Publications (selected)

  • T. Vu, K.K. Anderson, N.H. Somé, A. Thind, and S. Sarma. Mental health services utilization in primary care and emergency department settings: Analysis of blended fee-for-service and blended capitation models in Ontario, Canada. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, 48(4), 2021, 654-667.
  • M. Hong, A. Thind, G. Zaric, S. Sarma. Emergency department use following incentives to provide after-hours primary care: a retrospective cohort study. Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ), 193 (3), 2021, E85-E93.
  • T. Vu, K.K. Anderson, R.A. Devlin, N.H. Somé, and S. Sarma. Physician remuneration schemes, psychiatric hospitalizations and follow-up care: Evidence from blended fee-for-service and capitation models. Social Science & Medicine 2021; 268:113465.
  • M.A. Bamimore, R.A. Devlin, A. Garg, G. Zaric, S. Sarma. Quality of diabetes care in blended fee-for-service and blended capitation payment systems. Canadian Journal of Diabetes, 45(3), 2021, 261-268.
  • N.H. Somé, R.A. Devlin, N. Mehta, G. Zaric, S. Sarma. Team-based primary care practice and physician’s services: Evidence from Family Health Teams in Ontario, Canada. Social Science & Medicine 2020, 264:113310.
  • N.H. Somé, R.A. Devlin, N. Mehta, G. Zaric, S. Sarma. Stirring the Pot: Switching from blended fee-for-service to blended capitation. Health Economics, 29(11), 2020, 1435-1455.
  • T. Thavam, R.A. Devlin, A. Thind, G. Zaric, S. Sarma. The impact of the diabetes management incentive on diabetes-related services in Ontario, Canada. European Journal of Health Economics 21(9), 2020, 1279-1293.
  • S. Habbous, L. Barnieh, S. Klarenbach, B. Manns, S. Sarma, M. Begen, K. Litchfield, L. Krista, S. Singh, and A.X. Garg. Evaluating multiple living kidney donor candidates simultaneously or sequentially: a cost-effectiveness analysis. Kidney International 98(6), 2020, 1578-1588.
  • M. Hong, A. Thind, G. Zaric, S. Sarma. The impact of improved access to after-hours primary care on emergency department and primary care utilization: A systematic review. Health Policy, 124(8), 2020, 812-818.
  • R.A. Devlin, K.A. Kpelitse, L. Li, N. Mehta, and S. Sarma. After-hours incentives and emergency department visits: Evidence from Canada. Canadian Public Policy, 46(20), 2020, 253-263.
  • N.H. Somé, R.A. Devlin, N. Mehta, G. Zaric, L. Li, S. Shariff, B. Belhadji, A. Thind, A. Garg, S. Sarma. Production of physician services under fee-for-service and blended fee-for-service: Evidence from Ontario’s Natural Experiment. Health Economics 28(2), 2019, 1418-1434.
  • M. Lebenbaum, G. Zaric, A. Thind, S. Sarma. Trends in obesity and multimorbidity in Canada. Preventive Medicine, 116, 2018, 173-179.
  • S. Sarma, N. Mehta, R.A. Devlin, L. Li and K.A. Kpelitse. Family physician remuneration schemes and referrals to specialists: Quasi-experimental evidence from Ontario, Canada. Health Economics, 27(10), 2018, 1533-1549.
  • S. Habbous, S. Sarma, L. Barnieh, E. McArthur, M.A. Begen, S., Klarenbach, K.L. Lentine, B. Manns, A.X. Garg. Health care costs for the evaluation, surgery, and follow-up care of living kidney donors. Transplantation, 102(8), 2018, 1367-1374.
  • S. Habbous, S. Przech, J. Martin, A.X. Garg and S. Sarma. Cost-effectiveness analysis of first-line phosphate binders for the treatment of hyperphosphatemia in patients with chronic kidney disease. Value in Health, 21(3), 2018, 318-325.
  • M.B. Hannouf, E. Winquist, S.M. Mahmud, M. Brackstone, S. Sarma, P, Rogan, J.S. Hoch and G.S. Zaric. Cost-effectiveness of using a gene expression profiling test to aid in identifying the primary tumour in patients with cancer of unknown primary. Pharmacogenomics, 17, 2017, 286-300.
  • C. Pendrith, A. Thind, G. Zaric and S. Sarma. Association between financial incentives and cervical cancer screening in Ontario’s primary healthcare delivery models. Healthcare Policy, 12(1), 2016, 116-28.
  • C. Pendrith, A. Thind, G. Zaric and S. Sarma. Costs of cervical cancer treatment: Estimates from Ontario, Canada. Current Oncology, 23(2), 2016, e109-e115.
  • S. Larose, K.A. Kpelitse, M.K. Campbell, G. Zaric and S. Sarma. Does obesity influence labour market outcomes among working-age adults? Evidence from Canadian longitudinal data. Economics and Human Biology, 20, 2016, 26-41.
  • M. Hajizadeh, M.K. Campbell and S. Sarma. A spatial econometric analysis of adult obesity: Evidence from Canada. Applied Spatial Analysis and Policy, 9(3), 2016, 329-363.
  • S. Sarma, R.A. Devlin, J. Gilliland, MK. Campbell. G. Zaric. The Effect of leisure-time physical activity on obesity, diabetes, high BP and heart disease among Canadians: Evidence from 2000/01 to 2005/06. Health Economics, 24(12), 2015, 1531–1547.
  • E. Ewara, G. Zaric, S. Welch and S. Sarma. Cost-effectiveness of first line treatments for KRAS wild type metastatic colorectal cancer. Current Oncology, 21(4), 2014, e541-e550.
  • S. Hollands, M.K. Campbell, J. Gilliland and S. Sarma. Association between fast-food and full-service restaurant density and BMI: A cross-sectional study of Canadian adults. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 15(3), 2014, e172-e178.
  • S. Sarma, G. Zaric, M.K. Campbell and J. Gilliland. The effect of physical activity on adult obesity: Evidence from Canadian NPHS panel. Economics and Human Biology, 14, 2014, 1-21.
  • M. Hajizadeh, M.K. Campbell and S. Sarma. Socioeconomic inequalities in adult obesity risk in Canada: Trends and decomposition analyses. European Journal of Health Economics, 15(2), 2014, 203-221.
  • K. Sunderajan, M.K. Campbell, Y-H. Choi and S. Sarma. The relationship between diet quality and adult obesity: Evidence from Canada. Journal of the American College of Nutrition 33(1), 2014, 1-17.
  • S. Hollands, M.K. Campbell, J. Gilliland and S. Sarma. A spatial analysis of the association between restaurant density and body mass index in Canadian adults. Preventive Medicine, 57(4), 2013, 258-264.
  • S. Sarma, R.A. Devlin, A. Thind and M. Chu. Canadian family physicians’ decision to collaborate: Age, period and cohort effects. Social Science & Medicine, 75(10), 2012, 1811-1819.
  • S. Jesmin, A. Thind and S. Sarma. Does team-based primary health care improve patients’ perception of outcomes? Evidence from the 2007-08 Canadian Survey of Experiences with Primary Health Care. Health Policy 105(1), 2012, 71-83.
  • A. Sepehri, S. Sarma, U. Oguzoglu and T.M. Pham. Does the financial protection of health insurance vary across providers? Vietnam’s experience. Social Science & Medicine 73(4), 2011, 559-567.
  • S. Sarma, A. Thind and M. Chu. Do new cohorts of family physicians work less compared to their older predecessors? The Evidence from Canada. Social Science & Medicine 72(12), 2011, 2049-2058.
  • S. Sarma, R.A. Devlin, B. Belhadji and A. Thind. Does the way physicians are paid influence the way they practice? The case of Canadian Family Physicians’ work activity. Health Policy 98(2-3), 2010, 203-217.
  • S. Sarma, R. A. Devlin and W. Hogg. Physician’s production of primary care in Ontario, Canada. Health Economics 19(1), 2010, 14-30.
  • S. Sarma. Demand for outpatient health care: Empirical findings from rural India. Applied Health Economics and Health Policy 7(4), 2009, 265-277.
  • A. Sepehri, S. Sarma and J. Serieux. Who is giving up the free lunch? The insured patients’ decision to access health insurance benefits and its determinants: evidence from a low-income country. Health Policy 92(2-3), 2009, 250-258.
  • S. Sarma, G. Hawley and K. Basu. Transitions in living arrangements of Canadian seniors: Findings from the NPHS longitudinal data. Social Science & Medicine 68(6), 2009, 1106-1113.
  • R.A. Devlin and S. Sarma. Do physician remuneration schemes matter? The case of Canadian family physicians. Journal of Health Economics 25(7), 2008, 1168-1181.
  • A. Sepehri, S. Sarma, W. Simpson and S. Moshiri. How important are individual, household and commune characteristics in explaining utilization of maternal health services in Vietnam? Social Science & Medicine 67(6), 2008, 1009-1017.
  • S. Sarma, K. Basu and A. Gupta. The influence of prescription drug insurance on psychotropic and non-psychotropic drug utilization in Canada. Social Science & Medicine 65(12), 2007, 2553-2565.
  • S. Sarma and W. Simpson. A panel multinomial logit analysis of elderly living arrangements: Evidence from Aging in Manitoba Longitudinal Data, Canada. Social Science & Medicine 65(12), 2007, 2539-2552.
  • A. Sepehri, W. Simpson and S. Sarma. The influence of health insurance on hospital admission and length of stay – The case of Vietnam. Social Science & Medicine 63(7), 2006, 1757-1770.
  • A. Sepehri, S. Sarma and W. Simpson. Does public health insurance reduce financial burden? Empirical findings from the VLSS panel. Health Economics 15(6), 2006, 603-616.
  • S. Sarma and W. Simpson. A microeconometric analysis of Canadian health care utilization. Health Economics 15(3), 2006, 219-239.