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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Deanery of Molecular, Genetic and Population Health Sciences : Public Health Research

Postgraduate Course: Introduction to Health Economics and Resource Allocation (PUHR11084)

Course Outline
SchoolDeanery of Molecular, Genetic and Population Health Sciences CollegeCollege of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThe Introduction to Health Economics and Resource Allocation course will provide a grounding in the key concepts of health economics. The relevance of these concepts for specific resource allocation problems in Health Care and Public Health will be studied. Topics will include the international variations in health system funding arrangements, health system resources in the UK context, consumer and producer behaviour in health and healthcare, opportunity cost in health systems, assessing value in healthcare and public health, and economic evaluation of health technologies and public health interventions. Students will be encouraged to think from an economist's perspective and consider important features and failures of health care markets. At completion of the course students should be capable to critically interpret economic evidence in Public Health.
Course description This course provides an introduction for postgraduate Public Health students to concepts from the field of Economics that are relevant for health and health care. This includes core topics of Economics; consumer and producer behaviour in market and non-market settings, as well as the special tools of Health Economics. The special features of health and health care within the standard economics market paradigm will be explored in depth. Students will develop an understanding of the market failures arising from these features and acquire knowledge of several important examples. An interactive session will invite students to use the knowledge they have gained about markets in health to consider and critique incentives and 'nudges' in example Public Health interventions. The relevance of Health Economics for evidence-based medicine and evidence-based public health will be explained in topics covering current UK NHS resource allocation policies. The tools of Health Economics as applied in economic evaluations will be examined in detail. Students will develop a strong understanding of how health outcomes can be valued, costs can be measured, and how alternative interventions may be compared. A key learning objective is that students will be capable of personally critically appraising economic evaluations in the field of Public Health. Health Economics concepts will be put into context by exploring the past and current resource allocations in the health sector. This will be covered from both a UK and an international perspective.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesIntroductory or basic Statistics, Introductory or basic Epidemiology
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  60
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 16, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 4, Summative Assessment Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 58 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Written assignment (100%)
Feedback Detailed individual feedback will be given on the assignment after marking
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand and articulate the concepts of demand, supply and opportunity cost in health systems
  2. Describe the key mechanisms of markets and market failure in health care and public health
  3. Use cost-effectiveness evidence to choose between different treatment options or health technologies
  4. Critically appraise economic evaluations in the field of Public Health
Reading List
Willams A. Health economics: the cheerful face of a dismal science. In: Williams A, editor. Health and Economics. London: Macmillan; 1987.

Drummond M, Sculpher MJ, Claxton K, Stoddart GL, Torrance GW. Methods for the economic evaluation of health care programmes. Fourth edition / Michael F. Drummond, Mark J. Sculpher, Karl Claxton, Greg L. Stoddart, George W. Torrance. ed: Oxford University Press; 2015.

Briggs, A., Claxton, K., Sculpher, M., 2006, Decision Modelling for Health Economic Evaluation. Oxford University Press; Oxford.

Mooney, G. 2003. Economics, Medicine and Health Care. 3rd ed. Pearson Education Ltd: Harlow

Arrow KJ. Uncertainty and the welfare economics of medical care Am Econ Rev 1963; 80, reprinted in: Bull World Health Organ. 2004; 82: 141-149.

Wagstaff, A. (1986). The demand for health: theory and applications. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, 40(1), 1-11.

Raftery J. Economics notes: Economic evaluation: an introduction. BMJ: British Medical Journal. 1998 Mar 28;316(7136):1013.

Palmer S, Raftery J. Economics notes: Opportunity cost. BMJ: British Medical Journal. 1999 Jun 5;318(7197):1551.

Torgerson D, Raftery J. Economics notes: measuring outcomes in economic evaluations. BMJ: British Medical Journal. 1999 May 22;318(7195):1413.

Full list TBC
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills This course will train student's skills in the evaluation of new types of evidence. Taking an economics perspective applied to familiar problems will encourage critical thinking. Communication of challenging ideas will be developed in tutorial sessions. Special focus will be on the threshold concepts of health economics, for example opportunity costs.
KeywordsHealth Economics,Economics,Resources,Healthcare,Markets,Evidence
Course organiserMs Aileen Neilson
Tel: (0131 6) 51 9944
Course secretaryMr Stuart Mallen
Tel: (0131 6)50 3227
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