MPH5308 - Developing health systems - 2018

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

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


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Heather Rowe


Dr Heather Rowe

Unit guides


Monash Online

  • Teaching Period 1 2018 (Online)


Must be enrolled in one of the following course codes: 4528, 4529, M6007, M6021


This unit aims to develop skills to describe and analyse health systems and assess health sector reforms (or health system reforms) in both developed and developing countries, including Australia. The unit introduces participants to alternative conceptual frameworks for describing and analysing health systems, and focuses in particular on one - "the control knobs framework" - which describes the key levers of a health system and how these levers work to influence outcomes of interest such as equity, cost, financial risk protection and quality of care. The control knobs framework is used to describe and analyse health system outcomes in developed and developing countries (including Australia); diagnose existing policy reform challenges; shed light on ongoing health policy debates; and assess a recent case of reform in the health sector.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. Comprehend a systematic theoretical framework for describing the design of a national health system.
  2. Identify issues and challenges in the design of national health systems.
  3. Critically appraise research and reports associated with health system development and reform.
  4. Create proposals to respond to issues and challenges faced by national health systems.
  5. Effectively communicate issues and challenges associated with reforming and developing health systems to specialist and non-specialist audiences.


  • Six written critical evaluations (500 words each) (6.7% each)
  • Written report (2000 words) (30%)
  • Written assignment (2000 words) (30%)

Workload requirements

Off-campus: 20 hours per week for 6 weeks.

See also Unit timetable information

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study