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

Not currently offered

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Be familiar with key economic concepts and understand their relevance to health care
  2. Understand why governments intervene in the health care sector to provide access to safe, effective and affordable health care.
  3. Understand the importance of insurance in health.
  4. Be able to assess the impact of different financial incentives for consumers, doctors, hospitals and other participants in the health care sector.
  5. 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.
  6. 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
Assumed Knowledge No prior training in economics is required.
Assessment Items
  • Written Assignment: Assignment 1
  • Written Assignment: Assignment 2
  • Project: Final Project

Contact Hours Not currently offered
Course Materials
  • Economics of Health and Health Care, ebook
Timetable 2018 Course Timetables for PUBH6250
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