School of Public Health and Community Medicine

Health Economics and Financing for Developing Countries (PHCM9443)

Banner - PHCM9443

Course is offered in two different modes:

1) 4-day workshop, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, 27 – 30 November 2017
2) Externally by distance mode

Description

The goal of this course is to provide participants with the knowledge, skills and fundamental economic arguments that are central to discussions about health policy options and resource allocation choices. While the concepts, theories and models discussed are relevant to countries at all levels of development, this course focuses primarily on their application to in low- and middle-income countries. Participants will explore health care systems in these countries as a rich source of data and case studies through which to analyse resource allocation decision-making. They will then consider how to better deliver and finance services to improve health outcomes in these countries.

The course begins with an introduction to the key concepts commonly used by economists. The field of health economics is then introduced through examples of the specific types of policy questions that this sub-discipline can help address. We then move onto questions of demand, supply and markets and explore areas of market failure in health care and the mechanisms to counteract these failures. Lastly, we will explore the changing world of health care financing and consider where funding for health care comes from, how it is used. This course will only briefly touch upon the process of economic evaluation since it is covered in another complementary course (PHCM9440).

Credit points

This course is an elective in the Master of Health Management, Master of Public Health and Master of International Public Health programs  comprising six units of credit towards the total required for completion of the study program.

Course aim

The goal of this course is to provide you with the knowledge, skills and fundamental economic arguments that are central to discussions about health policy options and resource allocation choices with a particular emphasis on low- and middle-income countries.

Course Outcomes
 
Drawing on examples and case studies from low- and middle- income countries, by the end of this course students will be able to:
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the main functions and challenges facing health systems in the developing world
  • Explain the key economic principles and concepts relevant to health economics and financing
  • Discuss specific features that distinguish markets for health care from markets for other goods and services and potential for market failure in the health sector
  • Distinguish between the principal ways of funding health services and paying health care providers
  • Critically appraise evidence on the efficiency and equity implications of health financing reforms in low- and middle- income countries
Learning and teaching rationale
While the concepts, theories and models discussed in this course are relevant to countries at all levels of development, this course focuses primarily on their application to low- and middle-income countries. You will explore health care systems in these countries drawing on rich sources of data and as case studies through which to analyse resource allocation decision-making.  You will then consider how to better deliver and finance services to improve health outcomes in these countries.
 
Teaching strategies

Internal students: This course is delivered as a 4 day intensive workshop. Attendance for internal students is compulsory.

External students: Lecture recordings from the on-campus workshop will be available by Week 2.

Assessment

Assessment Task 1 - Country case study
Weighting: 40%
Length: 1000 - 1200 words

Assessment Task 2 - Essay on market failure in the health sector
Weighting: 60%
Length: 2500 - 3000 words

Readings and resources

Learning resources for this course consist of the following:

  • Course readings (Links posted in Moodle)
  • Lectures slides (posted in Moodle)
  • Skills Building exercises (posted in Moodle)
  • Check your learning quizzes (posted in Moodle)
Recommended resources

Introduction to Health Economics, Second edition. Edited by Lorna Guinness and Virginia Wiseman