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92282 Australian Health Care System

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 2020 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Health
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:


Result type: Grade and marks

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


This subject provides an opportunity for students to study the structure of the Australian health care system with particular focus on the provision of services in rural and remote settings. The role of both federal and state governments in the provision of health services is examined along with the opportunity to critique financing and legislation in both the public and private sectors. The place of government, policy development and legislation in defining practice and policy is also studied as well as the mechanisms and results of legislative change. Challenges in providing health care in metropolitan, regional and remote settings are explored with particular emphasis on maternity services.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
A. Distinguish between the roles and responsibilities of levels of government in the Australian health care system (NMBA 12.2)
B. Explain how the current health system is funded and critique issues of cost shifting. (NMBA 9.1, 9.2)
C. Explore the role of the consumer in health care planning, provision and evaluation and describe processes of lobbying for health policy change. (NMBA 7.2)
D. Identify relevant professional bodies in the Australian health care system and describe how these relate to the provision of health care in Australia. (NMBA 11.1, 13.1)
E. Evaluate the processes to develop, implement and evaluate health policy. (NMBA 3.3)
F. Analyse specific issues in the provision of health services in metropolitan, rural and remote settings (NMBA 1.4, 2.5)
G. Critique the role of the media in providing information about the Australian health care system and health issues in general. (NMBA 12.2)

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the following graduate attributes:

  • Are socially responsible citizens who value the diversity of people (5.0)
  • Are professionally engaged critical thinkers who take a lively and questioning approach and embrace lifelong learning (6.0)

Teaching and learning strategies

In this subject, you will participate in a range of teaching and learning strategies, which will be used to enable students to clarify, discuss and develop subject concepts. These teaching and learning strategies will include:

Face to face classes
This subject benefits from the realtime delivery of content. Face to face classes are provided to enable students to clarify, discuss and develop subject concepts. During these classes, students will meet with industry experts and will have opportunities for dialogue on contemporary professional issues. Much of the content for this is supported by online pre-work and resources.

In-class discussions
Students will be encouraged to participate in small group and whole class discussions/debate in order to learn and reflect on contemporary professional issues and the impact of these on midwives and women/families.

Online learning activities
Students access online learning resources including podcasts, videos and professional literature prior to face-to-face attendance. Other online resources enable students to clarify concepts and terminology.

Online discussions
Students are expected to study the online learning materials provided and reflect on the issues presented in order to respond to key questions and engage in debate on these issues with other students in online discussions.

Case scenarios
Cases are used to help students explore topic related scenarios. Students use these scenarios to learn concepts, interpret information, from clinical judgments and develop creative solutions. Critical thinking is developed through analysis, interpretation of and reflection on issues or situations.

Seminars and oral presentations
Seminars involve students either individually or in groups providing presentations to the class. Students receive feedback from peers and teachers not only on their knowledge of a subject area but also their ability to communicate their thoughts and relevant information in a clear, coherent and confident manner.

Content (topics)

Topics to be covered include:

  • Structure of the Australian health care system
  • Levels of health care and roles and responsibilities
  • Funding arrangements and their impact on service delivery
  • Health policy processes
  • Consumer participation in health care
  • Processes of lobbying and influence


Assessment task 1: Case Study Briefing paper


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, B, C, D, E and F

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

5.0 and 6.0

Weight: 60%

2000 words

Assessment task 2: Media Analysis


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):


This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

5.0 and 6.0

Weight: 40%

150-250 words for the letter

500-750 words for the justification

Minimum requirements

There are two items of assessment in this subject. You must submit all pieces of work and achieve an overall mark of 50% when all items of assessment that carry a numerical mark are combined.

Required texts

Duckett, S. & Willcox, S. 2016, The Australian health care system, 5th edn, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, Vic.

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2014, Australia’s health 2014, AIHW, Canberra, ACT.

Recommended texts

Australian Health Ministers Conference 2011, National Maternity Services Plan, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra.
Available from the UTS Library Digital Resources:


Palmer, G.R. & Short, S.D. 2014, Health care and public policy: an Australian analysis, 5th edn, Palgrave Macmillan, Melbourne, Vic.

Willis, E., Reynolds, L. & Keleher, H. 2012, Understanding the Australian health care system, 2nd edn, Elsevier, Sydney, NSW.

Other resources

UTS Student Centre
Building 10
Monday to Friday: 9am - 5pm
Tel: 1300 ASK UTS (1300 275 887)

Details for student centres:
For other resources/information refer to the Faculty of Health website (, the Health Student Guide ( and UTSOnline at:

UTS Library
The Library has a wide range of resources, facilities and services to support you including textbooks, subject readings, old exam papers, academic writing guides, health literature databases, workshops, a gaming room and bookable group study rooms. There is also a team of librarians to help you with all your questions.
W:, Facebook: utslibrary, Twitter: @utslibrary Tel: (02) 9514 3666

Improve your academic and English language skills
Marks for all assessment tasks such as assignments and examinations are given not only for what you write but also for how you write. If you would like the opportunity to improve your academic and English language skills, make an appointment with the HELPS (Higher Education Language & Presentation Support) Service in Student Services.

HELPS (Higher Education Language & Presentation Support)
HELPS provides assistance with English language proficiency and academic language. Students who need to develop their written and/or spoken English should make use of the free services offered by HELPS, including academic language workshops, vacation intensive courses, drop-in consultations, individual appointments and Conversations@UTS ( HELPS staff are also available for drop-in consultations at the UTS Library. Phone (02) 9514 9733

Please see for additional information on other resources provided to students by UTS.