BMO-32806 Management and Economics of Health Care and Public Health


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Individual Paper0
Independent study0
Course coordinator(s)JL Ruger
Lecturer(s)JL Ruger
PG Goedegebure
Examiner(s)prof. dr. WA Dolfsma

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

Students are assumed to be familiar with key concepts and theories from the field of micro-economics and/or from the economics of health and care.


In many countries in Europe, the America's and Asia the impact of the health sector on public and private spending is continuously increasing. As average individual life expectancy is growing, the demands placed upon the health sector are increasing. This makes this sector a domain in which economic principles, social responsibility and ethics continuously strive for priority. Many paradoxes, tensions and dilemma's characterize the sector. There is for instance the ongoing discussion about the accessibility of individuals to health care and the degree to which this is secured by the system as such; there is the paradox between cooperation and competition as well as the role of governments or markets as allocators of resources. On a managerial level there is the dilemma which managers in the health sector face when deciding about cost control measures and the quality of the services which health organizations should provide. These tensions, paradoxes and dilemmas are strongly influenced by international trends like deregulation and privatization. This very dynamic and complex sector will be the subject of study in the course 'Management and Economics of Health Care and Public Health'.
During the course economic, organizational and managerial aspects of health care and public health will be examined such as the way the sector is structured and organized as well as the role of different players like government, NGO's, health care professionals and public and private firms play. Managerial and administrative issues of the recent health care reforms will be studied as well as the role of leadership in initiating and anchoring change and innovation in the public health sector. The course also discusses the dilemmas managers face as well as the strategies which the different key-players develop and deploy in this dynamic and complex environment. Health care reforms will be discussed and the way health care organizations transform themselves in response to the system changes.
Trends in public health and reforms in health care are critically analyzed. In the discussion on strategic and organizational issues in the public health and care sector, various economic approaches are applied and examples from various countries in the field of public health and health care will be presented. Attention is paid to the variation in and performance of public health systems. Nowadays, economic evaluation is gaining importance in health care policies. Methods of economic evaluation as cost benefit analysis (CBA) and cost-effectiveness analysis will be critically examined and discussed.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- understand the main managerial and economic characteristics of the public and private health sector;
- understand the role and behavior of the various players in the health sector, including the Government;
- analyze the issues and problems in the public and private health sector by applying concepts and models from the domain of strategy and business administration;
- analyze global variations in the field of public health care systems of provision;
- apply economic evaluation methods in analyzing issues and problems in the public and private health sector;
- discuss the various economic approaches to analyze issues in the public and private health sector.


The course activities consist of the following elements:
- (guest)lectures;
- problem-oriented activities: case studies of various health care and public health issues. Each week, students work in groups on a case study;
- discussion and presentations;
- literature study.


The student' s performance will be measured in two ways:
- mark for the written examination on the contents of the lectures and obligatory literature at the end of the course, which will weigh 50% of the final mark;
- mark for the case studies (papers and presentations), which will weigh 50% of the final mark.


For this course, two books will be used and relevant articles will be provided. Furthermore, after each lecture a PowerPoint presentation on the subject will be posted on Blackboard. The following text books will be used during the course:
- Stephen Morris, Nancy Devlin, David Parkin, and Anne Spencer (2012). Economic analysis in health care, 2nd Edition, Wiley, Chichester. ISBN: 978-119-95149-0. Available at the WUR-shop.
- Walshe, K., and Judith Smith (Eds.) (2016). Healthcare Management, 3rd Edition. London: McGraw Hill Education.

Restricted Optional for: MCHCommunication, Health and Life SciencesMScB: Spec. B. - Health and Society3WD