Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Skip to content | Change text size

print version

Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2011 Postgraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
OfferedAlfred Hospital First semester 2011 (Day)
Alfred Hospital Term 3 2011 (On-campus block of classes)
Coordinator(s)Dr C Morgan


History, principles and practice of primary health care in developing countries. Key elements, developmental context and practical applications of project design, implementation and evaluation.


On completion of this unit students should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a familiarity with the principles and elements of primary health care in developing countries;
  2. Outline why other models of health care have failed to deliver effective, affordable health care to entire communities, and how a Primary Health Care (PHC) approach to health care differs from these other models;
  3. Explain how primary health care has evolved in the last 25 years and what issues have shaped its development;
  4. Describe the respective shortcomings of comprehensive and selective primary health care as health service delivery mechanisms;
  5. Outline key cross-cutting issues in PHC and their significance in community health (gender; aging; integration, community participation; intersectoral collaboration;
  6. Explain the importance of community health workers and peripheral service delivery in primary health care in developing countries;
  7. Explain the role of global agencies, aid programs and other international health interventions in primary health care services;
  8. Describe the underlying causes of poor community health in developing countries and the impact these have on health status;
  9. Outline the role of community knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and practices in primary health care;
  10. Describe the history of health care financing and the challenges facing health planners in developing countries;
  11. Describe the strategies taken to maximise the likelihood of PHC succeeding as a health care system at village, district and country levels;
  12. Explain the impact of health sector reforms and decentralisation on PHC and other international health interventions;
  13. Explain the impact of an essential drugs policy on a health system and the wellbeing of the communities it serves.


Written task (3,00 - 4,000 words) 70%
Group presentation (10%), Individual reflection (1,000 words) on group work (20%)

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Chris Morgan

Contact hours

6 x 4 weekday contact hours
1 x 7 weekend contact hour
5 day block


Basic computer proficiency
Must have passed ECX9720

Additional information on this unit is available from the faculty at: