Health Systems

Subject POPH90209 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

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

This subject is not offered in 2010.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24 hrs: One 2 hour seminar per week
Total Time Commitment: 120 hours.
Prerequisites: -
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: Knowledge gained from successfully undertaking 505-989 Health and public policy.
Non Allowed Subjects: -
Core Participation Requirements: -


Centre for Health Policy, Programs and Economics
Telephone: +61 3 8344 9111
Email: chppe-enquiries@


Academic Programs Office
Melbourne School of Population Health
Tel: +61 3 8344 9339
Fax: +61 3 8344 0824

Subject Overview: This subject will provide students with the knowledge and analytical frameworks about the social dynamics of those institutions and structures that constitute 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: Federalism and intergovernmental relations in health; health financing systems; Governance and accountability systems, health workforce supply and policy; policy making structures and processes in health; public health priorities, health policy and the law, complementary health systems. The Australian health system will be the primary case study with each topic including comparative case studies from other health systems. Upon completion of the subject, students should be able to apply the critical analysis of health policy to health policy development and evaluation.
Objectives: At the completion of this subject, students should be able to demonstrate the ability:
  • To describe, compare and critically analyse the institutions, structures and processes that constitute Australian health systems
  • To develop an advanced understanding of the institutional and social dynamics of health systems
  • To characterise the key components of the Australian health system by comparison with other health systems
  • To analyse and critique health policy, with a focus on key themes and the students’ sphere of interest and expertise;
  • 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 totalling 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. RRP: $A65.00.
Students will have access to electronic copies of relevant readings including:
ISPOR Global Health System Roadmap.
Grosse-Tebbe, S. Figueras, J. (2004).
Snapshots of health systems: The state of affairs in 16 countries, Geneva: World Health Organisation.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills: Upon completion of this subject a student should have:
  • Advanced written and oral communication skills
  • Advanced skills in reading critically within and across a range of academic disciplines relevant to health systems
  • Advanced skills in critical analysis of academic theories.

Related Course(s): Master of Health Social Sciences
Postgraduate Diploma in Health Social Sciences
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Social Health

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