Systems for Global Health

Subject POPH90238 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

July, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 11-Jul-2016 to 15-Jul-2016
Assessment Period End 25-Aug-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 12-Jul-2016
Census Date 22-Jul-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 12-Aug-2016

Subject Dates: 11 – 15 July, 2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 30 hours
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours

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 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 Peter Annear


Melbourne School of Population and Global Health


Currently enrolled students:

Future Students:

Subject Overview:

Health and development context in low and middle income countries (LMIC)

  • Interrelationship between health and development.
  • Measures of health and development (GDP, development indices, morbidity and mortality measures).
  • Global disparities in health expenditures and health outcomes (eg. life expectancy, morbidity and mortality measures).

Health systems (HS) in LMICs

  • Goals of health systems.
  • Building blocks of health systems.
  • Characteristics of health systems in LMICs and impact on health disparities.
  • Health system strengthening: approaches, strategies, control knobs, policy influence

Health financing (HF) in LMICs

  • The role of health financing (collecting and pooling funds and purchasing health services)
  • Sources and mechanisms of collecting finances – pros and cons of alternatives.
  • How much should be spent on health?

Using HF to achieve equity in LMICs

  • Distribution of financial contributions, health burdens and resource allocation and utilization.
  • Indicators and analytical tools for measuring distributions of costs and benefits of health expenditure within and between countries. Focus on financial contribution, distribution of resources and effective access to services.
  • Case studies of HF strategies to improve access to services and health outcomes for the poorest.

Influencing health policy in LMICs

  • Evolution of health financing policy for lower income countries (1970/80s: health for all; 1980s/90s: health sector reform; 2000s: universal coverage).
  • Evidence-based health policy.
  • Case studies of influencing policy for health sector reform. Including comparisons across countries.
Learning Outcomes:

Gain an understanding of:

  • The specific characteristics of health patterns in LMICs and the social, economic and political contexts that impact on health outcomes and health policy.
  • The characteristics of health systems in LMIC contexts and their impacts on health outcomes and health policy.
  • Principles and theories for intervention in health systems.
  • Health financing as an intervention to improve equity in health systems in LMICs.
  • Strategies and approaches to influence policy of health system reforms in LMIC contexts.

Develop skills in:

  • Using analytical tools for assessing the distribution of costs and health benefits of financial contributions and resource allocation.
  • Using frameworks for assessing lower income country health system challenges and devising solutions.
  • Applying evidence to achieve policy changes and health system reform.
  • Group oral presentation (approx 20 minutes) on choice of given topics due on last day of the intensive block (20%)
  • Take home writing task (1,000 words). 2-3 questions requiring demonstration of engagement with the subject content due about 10 days after intensive block (20%)
  • Essay – 3,000 words on choice of given topics due about four weeks after intensive block (60%)

Hurdle Requirement: Attendance at a minimum of 80% is required to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts: None
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • Critical and analytical thinking and problem solving skills.
  • Finding, evaluating and using relevant information.
  • Relevant numeracy skills, data analysis and interpretation skills.
  • Written and oral communication skills.
  • Working with others and in teams.

Links to further information:
Related Course(s): Master of Public Health
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Environment and Public Health
Global Health
Public Health
Tailored Specialisation

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