Supply Chain Management in Health Care (SCMHC)

An effective health system comprises many components, including a well-functioning supply chain; the availability of quality and affordable health commodities at the facility is a key outcome of the logistics system ensuring that the patient receives the services they need. Significant budgetary resources are allocated for providing public health commodities in developing countries while many supply chains are managed ad-hoc and performance is insufficient. Efforts are needed to strengthen international and in-country supply chains and to establish sustainable and integrated logistics systems that are robust enough to respond to dynamics and challenges in the health sector. Key to building sustainable supply systems is recognition of and investments in human resources and the necessary management structures required to effectively and efficiently manage these systems.

The course covers introductory level supply chain management, presenting basic principles of supply and support structures and functions, with a specific focus on problems related to global health. The course engages participants in the analysis of case studies that describe efforts to improve commodities supply chains and healthcare delivery in resource-poor settings. Discussion of these cases will illuminate principles and frameworks for the design and management of efficient and effective supply chains of healthcare commodities. The course will address the basics of the supply cycle as a prerequisite for access to medicines, the use of medicines, quality assurance and accountability, all embedded in a health system perspective.

The Supply Chain Management in Health Care course is one of our Management Courses that can be taken as stand-alone courses or combined to achieve the MBA in International Health Management.

The course consists of 3 phases combining blended and hybrid learning formats, offering the benefits of both self-paced learning and synchronous real-time interaction.

Phase 1: Preparation

During the preparation phase, participants familiarise themselves with the course topic by studying materials and completing assignments under the guidance of the facilitators.

→ Self-paced distance learning and an introductory online session

→ 4 weeks part-time

→ Approx. 40 hours of student investment

Phase 2: Hybrid Face-to-Face Week

During the hybrid face-to-face week, participants engage in five days of intensive discussions, reflection exercises, case studies, group work, quizzes and presentations, either on-site at the Swiss TPH headquarters in Allschwil, Switzerland, or online. Active participation (online or on-site) is expected throughout the week. 

→ On-site in Allschwil or online

→ 5 days full-time

→ Approx. 40-45 hours of student investment

Typically, there are two hybrid/face-to-face weeks with two courses back-to-back to allow participants from abroad to attend two courses on one flight.

Phase 3: Final Assignment

In the post phase, participants consolidate their learning through the development of a final assignment, such as essays, project outlines, presentations or online quizzes, supported by the course facilitators.

→ Distance-based and mostly self-paced

→ 6 weeks part-time

→ Approx. 95-100 hours of student investment

At a Glance

Online Information Session

Participants are equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to understand the principles of health commodity supply chain management and to apply managerial approaches to strengthen supply of medical supplies. They are able to describe the elements of the supply cycle up to the delivery of health commodities to the end user including aspects of responsible use. Participants appreciate the role of human resources and of quality assurance in supply management and will be able to identify, analyse, interpret & address managerial challenges of supply chains in health care.

Participants are assessed during both, the distance-based and on-campus phases of the courses, through individual and team assignments, professional presentations, quizzes or short tests, reflective papers & proposed projects.

The course is designed for those working, or wishing to work, in the field of international public health cooperation at all levels. It is of particular interest to (future) leaders and managers addressing the need to combine strong business management skills with a sound public health education.

To enrol, you need a bachelor's degree and at least two years' relevant work experience, as well as a passion for global and public health. As all management courses are taught in English, strong oral and written English skills are also required. In order to attend the course, the fee must be paid before the course starts.

Course fee: CHF 3,450
Reduced course fee for MBA IHM students*: CHF 2,950

* The same fee applies to tropEd students and students enrolled in an SSPH+ professional postgraduate Master's or PhD programme.

Course fees must be paid one week before the start of the preparation phase. Tuition fees do not cover insurance, travel or personal living expenses incurred during your stay in Basel.

Please note that cancellations for any reason after the start of the preparation phase (Phase 1) are subject to a cancellation fee of CHF 500. Cancellations received less than two days prior to the start of the hybrid face-to-face week (Phase 2) will be charged the full course fee.

Swiss TPH and the University of Basel do not offer scholarships for management courses.

Disclaimer: In the event of an insufficient number of participants, the course may be cancelled up to 4 weeks prior to the start of the course. Swiss TPH is not responsible for any costs related to flight bookings, etc.