The course provides a short introduction to key concepts of health economics, such as public goods, externalities and supply and demand, as applied to health and the health sector. Based on the WHO health system performance framework, the course then discusses health financing – its functions, financing systems, payment mechanisms, Overseas Development Assistance, the effect of health system organisation on financing, measuring performance, digitization in health financing and how financing relates to other building blocks of a health system. These factors are used to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of a country’s level and structure of health financing.
Most health systems are characterized by a mix of public and private financing and delivery of care. For a health system to perform well – i.e., to provide needed, good-quality health services to all who need them – public and private financing agents need to generate an appropriate amount of revenue; pool risks; create appropriate incentives for quality service provision from all providers; and allocate resources to the most effective, efficient, and equitable interventions and services irrespective of the sector. These functions should be managed efficiently, minimising administrative costs.
The course will expose and discuss these aspects so that participants can critically discuss and share views on health financing and payment reforms at local, national and global level. Health financing will be further discussed in the context of achieving “Universal Health Coverage” and Sustainable Development Goal 3.
This part-time and flexible study programme caters to the needs of working professionals. More than 75% of all learning takes place at a distance, giving students the opportunity to learn and progress at their own pace. All courses adopt a blended learning approach, offering the advantages of both self-directed and face-to-face phases. Participants benefit from a wide range of learning methods designed to achieve the best possible individual learning experience: lectures, seminars, case studies, group work, pre-recorded videos, self-directed learning with feedback from lecturers and/or the course coordinator as well as practical exercises.
During the preparation phase course materials are accessed via our Learning Management Platform at the participants’ own pace with guidance from course coordinators and facilitators.
The preparation phase is followed by a hybrid face-to-face week at the Swiss TPH headquarters. Active participation (online or in person) is expected from 9:00-17:00 CE(S)T. At least one facilitator is always on site and in-person teaching is prioritized whenever possible, although in exceptional circumstances facilitators may join online. Online spaces for participation is limited. These spaces are allocated based on student need (i.e. travel restrictions, etc.).
Learning outcomes are consolidated during the post phase with a final assignment that is introduced during the hybrid face-to-face week. This phase is self directed and guided via our Learning Management Platform. The post phase is finished when the final assignment has been handed in.