Health Economics

10 Units

Economics considers how best to use our limited resources to satisfy our unlimited wants and needs. Health economics is the application of economics to health and health care. After an introduction to economics, the course covers key issues in health economics, including: * Who should pay for health care? * Does free or subsidised health care increase our demand for health care? * Public versus private health insurance. * The incentives associated with the different methods of paying doctors and hospitals. * The conflicting objectives of government in the market for pharmaceuticals (to ensure access to affordable, safe and effective medicines; and to encourage research and development and employment in the pharmaceutical sector). * Reform to the organisation and financing of health care to improve equity, quality and efficiency in health care. * Recent reforms to health care in Australia and other countries.

Faculty Faculty of Health and Medicine
School School of Medicine and Public Health
Availability Semester 1 - 2014 (WebLearn GradSchool)
Semester 1 - 2015 (WebLearn GradSchool)

On completion of this course students will * be familiar with key economic concepts and understand their relevance to health care * understand why governments intervene in the health care sector to provide access to safe, effective and affordable health care.

  • understand the importance of insurance in health.

  • be able to assess the impact of different financial incentives for consumers, doctors, hospitals and other participants in the health care sector.

  • be able to evaluate changes to health care policies and health care reforms, such as the introduction of direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription-only medicines to consumers.

  • have practical knowledge of key issues in health economics, based on examples from the Australian and other health care systems.


Topics are covered in six modules:

  • Module 1 An Introduction to Economic Theory and Economic Thinking
  • Module 2 Public Health & Equity
  • Module 3 Health Care Systems: Organisation and Financing
  • Module 4 Health Care Inputs: Doctors and Pharmaceuticals
  • Module 5 The Economics of Hospital Care
  • Module 6 Health Care Reform
Replacing Course(s) n/a
Transition n/a
Industrial Experience 0
Assumed Knowledge No prior training in economics is required.
Modes of Delivery Distance Learning : IT Based
Distance Learning : Paper Based
External Mode
Teaching Methods Email Discussion Group
Self Directed Learning
Assessment Items
  • Essays / Written Assignments - Two Marked Assignments and a Final Project. MA1 worth 20%, MA2 worth 30% and the Final Project worth 50%
Contact Hours
  • Self Directed Learning: for 6 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
  • Email Discussion Group: for 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
Compulsory Components
  • Requisite by Enrolment: This course is only available to students who are enrolled in the programs listed below: Master of Applied Management Health (11287) Graduate Certificate in Clinical Epidemiology (11684) Graduate Diploma in Epidemiology (10965) Master of Clinical Epidemiology (11685)
Course Materials None listed
Timetable 2015 Course Timetables for PUBH6250

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