Australian Health Systems

Subject 505-548 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

August, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Intensive; 2 x 2 day intensives (6 hrs per day) during the semester

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A total of 24 hours over 4 days
Total Time Commitment: Students will be expected to undertake additional study (i.e. outside the stated contact hours) of at least three hours for each hour of contact in this subject.
Prerequisites: None

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Assoc Prof Margaret Kelaher, Prof Ian Anderson


Centre for Health and Society & Centre for Health Policy Programs and Economics

School of Population Health

Subject Overview:

This subject will provide students with the knowledge and analytical frameworks about the social dynamics of those institutions and structures that constitute Australian health systems. The subject will enhance students’ ability to undertake critical policy analysis. Issues that will be addressed will include, but may not be exclusive to: the theoretical and institutional context of health policy and public policy; Federalism and intergovernmental relations in health; health financing systems; health workforce supply and policy; policy making structures and processes in health; critical themes in contemporary policy including population health policy, Indigenous health policy, primary health care policy, research, health information systems, complementary health systems and evidence based policy. Upon completion of the subject, students should be able to apply the critical analysis of health policy to health policy development and evaluation.

  • To be able to describe and critically analyse the institutions, structures and processes that constitute Australian health systems
  • To have developed a advanced understanding of the social dynamics of Australian health systems
  • To have a sophisticated awareness of tensions in health policy from different institutional and professional perspectives;
  • To be able to compare and contrast differing interests and perspectives on health policy
  • To be able to analyse and critique health policy, with a focus on key themes and the students’ sphere of interest and expertise;
  • To be able to critically analyse the potential of health policy initiatives
  • To generate and articulate commentary on health policy with a sound understanding of the key institutional, social, cultural and political factors.

Critical analysis of set readings and policy documents (plus other relevant readings) totalling 2,000 words, due mid semester (40%).

Essay of approximately 3,000 words due at end of semester (60%).

Prescribed Texts: Duckett, S. (2004) (2nd Ed) The Australian Health Care System, Melbourne: Oxford University Press.
Recommended Texts:

A set of additional readings will also be available for purchase.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information:

This subject is a Group 1 elective in the Master of Public Health.

Related Course(s): Master of Adolescent Health && Welfare
Master of Public Health
Master of Social Health (Aboriginal Health)
Master of Social Health (Health Policy)
Master of Social Health (Interdisciplinary)

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