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26703 Introductory Health Economics

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2019 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Business: Economics
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:


Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


This subject provides a broad understanding of the economics of health and health care and the skills to apply analytical economics techniques to problems of resource allocation and policy development in the health system. The subject covers key economic issues for the health system and uses economics techniques to understand how the health system operates and to analyse health system reform.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
1. demonstrate an understanding of the key concepts of microeconomics applied to health and health care
2. understand and describe the principles of economic analysis in health care
3. describe the operation of health care markets
4. use health economics techniques to inform resource allocation and priority setting in the health system.

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

This subject provides students training to be health services managers with a broad understanding of the economics of health and health care and enables them to apply analytical economics skills to problems of resource allocation in the health system. Health care is a major sector of the Australian economy. Policy makers, planners and others who are managing components of the health care system increasingly require skills in economics to provide the appropriate evidence base for decision-making and resource allocation.
This subject is offered in the Health Services Management program administered by the Faculty of Health, and is a core subject in the Masters of Health Services Management and Planning and in the Planning and No Major components of the Masters of Health Services Management. This subject is also available as an elective in the Masters of Business Administration.

Students may also enrol in this subject as a stand-alone subject.

Teaching and learning strategies

The subject is based on lecture presentations, discussion and tutorials related to the prescribed texts. The lecturer may also use complementary case studies, panel sessions and/or simulations.

Content (topics)

  • Introduction to health and health economics
  • Microeconomic tools for health system analysis
  • Markets and market failure
  • Equity and efficiency in health care provision
  • Uncertainty and risk
  • Producing health, consuming health care
  • Financing health care
  • Decision making and resource allocation


Assessment task 1: Short answer assignment


This addresses subject learning objective(s):

1 and 2

Weight: 25%

Assessment task 2: An essay or project on a selected topic in health economics


This addresses subject learning objective(s):

2, 3 and 4

Weight: 35%

1500 words

Assessment task 3: Final examination


This addresses subject learning objective(s):

1, 2, 3 and 4

Weight: 40%

Required texts

Morris S, Devlin N, Parkin D and Spencer A (2012) Economic Analysis in Health Care, Second Edition, John Wiley & Sons Ltd

Lecture notes will be available on UTS online for each topic.

Additional readings will be made available via UTS online.

Recommended texts

Guinness L, Wiseman V (eds) (2011) Introduction to Health Economics, 2nd Edn, McGraw Hill Open University Press


Additional supplementary readings may be advised on particular topics, during the subject and these will be available via UTS online.