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Handbooks Courses Units

MPH2069 - Health systems policy

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Leader: Professor J Stoelwinder & Dr C Joyce


Alfred Hospital First semester 2008 (Day)
Alfred Hospital First semester 2008 (Off-campus)


Health policy provides the framework and dynamic for the structure of the health delivery system, at an overall system level through to health care organisations and to the level of providing clinical care to individuals, families and communities. Health services managers and health professional leaders, and those who aspire to these roles, need to know about the content of specific health policies and other policies that influence health and health care. They also need to know the process of policy making so that they can understand why a policy is what it is, and how to engage in the policy making process, either as a policy staffer, or as a stakeholder.
This unit involves a structured review of the policy making process via WebCT based modules, readings and online tasks. This is supplemented by a workshop with senior health care policy practitioners. It considers Australian and international perspectives on health policy. The unit should be completed before undertaking MPH2072 as it provides useful supplementary material and knowledge. It is a core unit for the Graduate Diploma and the Master of Health Services Management..


On completion of this unit students should be able to:

  1. Identify what policy is and how it works.
  2. Distinguish 'policy', 'public policy' and 'health policy'.
  3. Apply the 'Policy Cycle' to develop public policy.
  4. Compare formal rational policy processes, such as the 'Policy Cycle', to the policy making process in action, including the role of interest groups and 'evidence'.
  5. Identify how the policy agenda is formed.
  6. List the major substantive health policy issues, particularly in the areas of:
    • Alternative funding for health care
    • Rationing health care
    • Health care for the aged
    • Mental health
    • Chronic care and the continuum of care
    • Rural and indigenous health care
    • Technology and eHealth
    • Workforce
  7. Locate sources of information guiding health policy content and process.
  8. Integrate the above to critically appraise policy issues and the policy process in action.


Web-based tasks (50%)
Written assignments (50%)

Contact hours

15 contact hours over 2 days

Off Campus Attendance Requirements

15 contact hours over 2 days


Students completing MPH2069 cannot undertake MPH2031

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