HSM401 Reflecting on Health Care Systems (8)


Students examine the components of a health care system, building on their own experiences, to establish a personal development framework. They investigate definitions and models of health; how health, illness and disability are measured, particularly the determinants of health; how value can be measured and applied to different interventions and the impacts they have on health status; and how choices are made in resource allocation. Emerging trends linked to some complex and real issues confronting managers are considered in detail.

+ Subject Availability Modes and Location

Session 1
OnlineBathurst Campus
Session 2
OnlineBathurst Campus
Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: HSM401
Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject information

Duration Grading System School:
One sessionHD/FLSchool of Biomedical Sciences

Enrolment restrictions

Available only to postgraduate students in health related courses

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to describe several models of health and illness
  • be able to identify, describe and analyse a variety of determinants of health;
  • be able to identify, describe and analyse a model or framework of health most applicable to the health care service they are involved with;
  • be able to discuss different measures of health and illness, including morbidity and mortality;
  • be able to identify and evaluate the principal statistics, including demographic statistics, required to measure these concepts;
  • be able to identify, describe and evaluate categories and examples of the typical measures currently used to assess performance at service and system levels of delivery;
  • be able to discuss the contribution of economic theory to the process of resource allocation in a health or aged care context;
  • be able to identify the role and contribution of different stakeholders to shaping the policy and delivery of health and aged care services
  • be able to describe the relative significance of the principal components of health care system - by volume, cost, mode of delivery, provider, funder, sector;
  • be able to analyse the performance of the health and aged care systems from perspectives of equity, accessibility, efficiency and accountability;
  • be able to describe the components and characteristics of the health workforce;
  • be able to evaluate the impact of gender, demographic, education, technology, economic, and industrial conditions and issues on the health workforce;
  • be able to analyse the effectiveness, efficiency and acceptability of current funding arrangements from a variety of stakeholder perspectives;
  • be able to discuss predictions of changes to funding models and the degree of acceptance from a variety of stakeholder perspectives;
  • be able to describe health systems developments in a number of health systems other than their own;
  • be able to develop an ability to reflect deeply and critically to analyse experience and new information to enhance an understanding of managerial thinking;
  • be able to use the approach of reflection to integrate new insights with their current understanding of health system related issues;
  • be able reflect on the differences in thinking between clinicians, clinician-managers and managers on conceptions of clinical work and accountability for the use of resources in a health or aged care context.


The subject will cover the following topics:
  • health concepts and models;
  • demography, epidemiology and measures of health;
  • health economics, technology and evaluation;
  • health care stakeholders and policy;
  • institutional care;
  • non-institutional care;
  • public-private sector relationships;
  • the health workforce;
  • trends in health care financing;
  • trends in health care organisation;
  • trends in health care management.


The information contained in the 2018 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: 16 February 2018. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.