Course in Health Policy and Financing (HP&F)

General

Program Description

An in-depth look at important issues and current debates in health policy, health economics, and health financing, taking into account the diverse profit and not for profit systems.

This course is tropEd accredited and is intended for public health professionals looking to elevate their capabilities in healthcare financing. It can be followed as a stand-alone course or as part of the Master in International Health or Master in Public Health programmes.

Content

This module takes an in-depth look at important issues and current debates in health policy, health economics, and health financing. Among these are the vital discussion points of decentralization, the public-private mix, international finance of health goods, aid effectiveness, TRIPS, community participation, health insurance and governance of health systems. The influence that certain actors, such as the international donor community and consumer groups, have on the health policy agenda is explored, and recent influential reports concerning health policy are discussed.

As part of this course, students are required to critically read and discuss papers on specific health policy debates in low and middle-income countries. Examples of such policy debates include:

  • feasibility of national insurance systems
  • the role of private sector and contracting arrangements and
  • the relationship between decentralization and equity

Content

  • Organisation of aid
  • The major developments in the area of international development finance, including those in the area of aid, debt (relief) and the financial sector
  • The economics behind aid, and the financial crisis the links between these developments and health
  • WTO, intellectual property and TRIPS
  • Health insurance
  • Decentralisation and contracting
  • Discussions on equity, transparency, governance, and accountability in health systems

Objectives

At the end of the module the participants should be able to:

  • develop a broad overview of the organization of development aid, its evolving architecture and critically discuss its effectiveness. Critically appraise the role of the donor community in recent health sector developments.
  • describe and analyze the relationship between health and economic development within the macroeconomic context of low-income countries.
  • critically analyze the role of the pharmaceutical sector, in the context of existing international trade laws and agreements, on health and on health service delivery and access in low and middle-income countries.
  • analyze the benefits and critical problems associated with public-private relations and, in particular contracting and performance-based finance.
  • appraise alternative and innovative modes of financing of the health systems.
  • analyze the key characteristics of health system decentralization in low and middle-income countries: popularity, diversity, contradiction, context specifics; and propose a broad outline for effective health system decentralization.
  • discuss the conditions and circumstances in which health programmes should be vertically organized or integrated.
  • examine and discuss the meaning and importance of community participation in development work with the aim of reflecting upon past experiences and then develop strategies for working with communities towards achieving better accountability and governance.

Admission criteria

  • Academic training or professional qualification in a relevant area
  • Work experience in a related area, including experience in management or planning in developing countries
  • Proficiency in spoken and written English

Scholarships

There are scholarships from the Orange Knowledge Programme (OKP) available for this course. Registration period September/October.

Last updated Sep 2018

About the School

KIT (Royal Tropical Institute) equips health professionals to address public health challenges around the world. We offer master programs and advanced courses at our training facilities in Amsterdam ... Read More

KIT (Royal Tropical Institute) equips health professionals to address public health challenges around the world. We offer master programs and advanced courses at our training facilities in Amsterdam and through e-learning. Read less