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SWM518 Health Economics and Finance: Individual Essay Assessment Answer

SWM518 – Health Economics and Finance

Topics for essay and individual oral presentation


For the essay (3rd Assignment), you are expected to write an essay on any of the  4  topics between 2500 (minimum) – 3000 (maximum) words. You are expected to cite and relate your perspectives  to references such as research papers, government reports, published  articles,  and  so   on. Country level statistics gained from publicly available database is highly recommended as further support. Simple statistical analysis using publicly available data set is appreciated, but not necessary.

Individual oral presentation (2nd Assignment) will be based on your essay topic (no change of topic between essay and oral presentation is allowed). For the oral presentation, you are expected to record your voice within your PowerPoint slides. It is expected you will prepare 10 PowerPoint slides (maximum) and your duration of talk will be 10 minutes (maximum). For better marks please follow marking guidelines in the annexes from your unit guide.

Topic 1 Role of private health insurance in health care financing

Unlike most  OECD  countries  with  universal  public  insurance,  Australia  has  50%  of  the  population holding private health insurance (PHI)  and at the same time PHI spending accounts for   only 8-11% of total health expenditures (like most OECD countries with universal public insurance!). Discuss the underlying reasons and potential approaches to optimize, if necessary, the functioning of PHI in the Australian context.

Topic 2 Australia health system trade-off between efficiency and equity

The Australian healthcare system is unique in its design with a complex system of public and private partnerships in the financing and provision of healthcare services. Discuss the history, current and possible future healthcare system’s design in the context of the classic trade-off between equity and efficiency.

Topic 3 Medical tourism and its implications in demand and supply of health care in a country

Medical tourism is growing phenomenon in some countries like Thailand and India. It brings opportunities as well as challenges in terms of demand and supply of health care. In particular, it burdens existing health systems of a country in terms of extra workload for the health workforces. At the same time, it creates opportunities to earn more revenues for the country. Discuss these issues using a country of example.

Topic 4 Healthcare financing in low- and middle-income countries and  achieving  universal health coverage (UHC)

In low resource countries, the health  financing  dependence  on  external  aid  (unpredictable,  fragmented and subjected to politics) poses great challenges in assuring all citizens access  to  preventive, curative and rehabilitative services at an affordable cost. Discuss health financing alternatives using a comparative health systems analysis.1

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