Health Systems

Subject POPH90209 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

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

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2011:

August, Parkville - 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

Classroom Intensive

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24 hours. Week 5, 2 days of 6 hours, week 9, 2 days of 6 hours.
Total Time Commitment: 120 hours.
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: 505-548 Australian Health Systems
Core Participation Requirements: For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.
The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website.


Dr Helen Jordan


Centre for Health Policy, Programs and Economics
Melbourne School of Population Health
Tel: +61 3 8344 0652


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 and enhance students’ ability to undertake critical policy analysis of health systems. Issues that will be addressed will include, but may not be exclusive to: health system structures; factors influencing health systems; intergovernmental relations in health; health financing systems; health workforce supply and policy; general practice and primary healthcare; complementary health systems; international health systems and indigenous peoples; major health system reforms; and evidence, tools, performance measurement, and policy processes that inform health system decision-making. The Australian health system will be the primary case study with each topic including comparative case studies from other health systems.
Objectives: Upon completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  • Describe and critically analyse the institutions, structures and processes that constitute Australian health system
  • Characterise the key components of the Australian health system by comparison with other health systems
  • Analyse and critique health system policy and initiatives with a focus on key themes and the students’ sphere of interest and expertise
  • Discuss health system policy with reference to the key institutional, social, cultural and political influencing factors
Assessment: One critical analysis of 2,000 words, due mid semester (40%); essay totalling 3,000 words due during the examination period (60%).
Prescribed Texts: Duckett, S. (2007) (3rd ed) The Australian Health Care System, Melbourne: Oxford University Press. RRP: $A 77.95

Students will have access to electronic copies of relevant readings.
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, students will have developed skills in:
  • Finding, evaluating and using relevant information,
  • Written communication,
  • Oral communication,
  • Persuasion and argumentation,
Related Course(s): Master of Health Social Sciences
Master of Public Health
Postgraduate Diploma in Health Social Sciences
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Health Economics && Economic Evaluation
Health Program Evaluation
Social Health

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