HSH763 - Financing Health Care


2024 unit information

Enrolment modes: Trimester 3: Online
Credit point(s): 1
EFTSL value: 0.125

HSH717 or MPE781

Corequisite: Nil
Incompatible with: Nil
Study commitment

Students will on average spend 150 hours over the teaching period undertaking the teaching, learning and assessment activities for this unit.

This will include educator guided online learning activities within the unit site.

Scheduled learning activities - online

Students have the option to:
a) attend a 30 minute online lecture and 1 hour online seminar per week, or
b) review lecture recordings and participate in a weekly interactive discussion board activity


How societies pay for health care and how many resources are devoted to health and health care can affect individual access to health care; and impact on both health inequalities and population health. As a policy instrument, health financing is about raising sufficient funds in a fair and equitable way; pooling financial resources across population groups to minimise the impact of illness; and creating a legislative framework to support an equitable and efficient use of public funds. This subject will explore alternative mechanisms for financing health care, including collecting revenue, pooling funds, purchasing services from providers and the role of the prevailing policy framework.

Broadly there are two approaches to health care financing: (i) government financed systems and (ii) market-based systems. However, in contemporary health systems this distinction is blurred with market-based incentives influencing predominantly government financed healthcare; output-based funding for hospitals and pay-for-performance (P4P) models are examples of this. Insurance, whether universal or private, provides a further layer of complexity.

Any payment system is affected by how the incentives underlying payment, including the existence of insurance, influence individual behaviour; and in health care funding incentives influence the behaviour of both consumers and providers. We will analyse the strengths and weaknesses of different financing and policy options from an economic perspective. The subject will draw on both Australian and international examples of healthcare financing policy.

Unit Fee Information

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