Discussion Topic 1: Health systems

Module 1: Discussion Topic 1: Health systems

  • Based on your experience or recent issues in the news, what are some current problems with the Australian health system? How do these relate to the key concepts in the readings, such as the key building blocks of a health system?
    Discussion Topic 2: Challenges to a systems thinking approach
  • Choose a particular health issue. How might a systems thinking approach be applied to better address this issue? What are the challenges for action on systems thinking in this instance?

Module 2: Discussion Topic 1: Core Competencies in Public Health

  • In your basic professional training, how well were you prepared for the core competencies of public health as identified in the readings? Can you suggest improvements in education within your profession?
    Discussion Topic 2: The Brain Drain
  • According to Serour (2009), LIC health workers trained with public resources have the right to migrate but also have obligations to their countries. What actions does or could your country undertake to address problems related to brain drain in LICs? Is regulation in this instance effective?

Module 3: Discussion Topic 1: Maintaining universal health coverage

  • Do you perceive barriers to countries like Australia and the UK in being able to maintain universal health coverage? What kinds of barriers are we facing?
    Discussion Topic 2: Universal health coverage: limitations
  • Consider the academic articles, the WHO World Health Report on health systems and financing, and recent debates on universal health care, free health care and health outcomes.
  • Universal health coverage is an international goal. What needs to happen to achieve universal health coverage in developing countries?

Module 4: Discussion Topic 1: Estimating Expenditures

  • How does the country in which you live estimate various expenditures on public health programs and initiatives?
  • What factors might cause the actual costs to be higher, lower or the same as the estimated costs Discussion Topic 2: Economic levers and Health Promotion
  • How do economic tools such as price subsidisation and commodity taxation affect expenditures on public health programs and initiatives?
  • Shiell et al. (2013) list “best buys” in Table 2 (p. 167). What implications do they have for the public health system in your country?

Module 5: Discussion Topic 1: Demand and Supply

  • What challenges might public health professionals face in managing demand for public health services and programs? Consider why demand management might not always be the best solution.
  • How might public health professionals use economics to analyse a market to determine which types of public health services and programs consumers most need?
    Discussion Topic 2: Access, Equity and Citizen’s Juries
  • How can citizens juries be employed to consider priorities and funding for public health? When are they most effective and most appropriately used?
  • What is the relationship between health literacy and use of health services? Consider the demand/supply health service implications for a more health literature population.

Module 6: Discussion Topic 1: Impact of Economic Analysis on Public Health Research

  • How might public health professionals conduct economic analyses to address the needs of a current public health issue in their community?
  • How might the data gathered from these economic analyses impact the research, policy, and practice of public health for the community at large?