Economics for health policy, planning and service delivery


  • DateMonday 27 May – Friday 31 May 2019

  • WhereUQ Brisbane City, 293 Queen St, Brisbane


Health care managers, planners, providers and policymakers are continually challenged by increasing demands on health systems and constraints on the availability of resources to meet those demands.

Economics provides an important toolkit for meeting these challenges across a wide range of problems and settings, ranging from how taxes and subsidies might be used to promote healthy communities through to changing the way health care is delivered and the ways providers are paid.

This five-day course will introduce you to key economic concepts and evaluation methods for more informed and confident decision-making. You will learn how to apply these insights to protect, promote and restore health in populations and how to effectively plan, manage and deliver health services and policy. 



Book by Wednesday 24 April



Book by Monday 13 May


Both ticket types include a complimentary copy of the course textbook, valued at $100.

Key program content

  • Why we need economics – fundamental concepts
  • The special characteristics of health care
  • Health care markets and market failure
  • Economics of health care provision
  • Behavioural health economics: provider practice and patient adherence
  • Role and limitations of economic evaluation
  • Planning services, workforce and expenditures

Key outcomes

After attending the course, you will be able to

  • understand the basic concepts of economics
  • apply these concepts to problems of health and health care at the level of both provider-patient and system-population.
  • engage with economists and health services researchers, health policy makers and planners in discussions about the economics of health and health care.

Who should attend

The course is designed for planners, managers and providers in the health care system who need to identify economic aspects in their activities and need to know the adequate economic tools challenges in their field. It will provide them with the skills necessary to address these with economic tools alongside their existing skill set.


Taylor Chair and Centre Director
Centre for the Business and Economics of Health
Professor - CBEH
Centre for the Business and Economics of Health
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Centre for the Business and Economics of Health


Day 1: Why do we need economics?

  • Fundamental concepts of economics
  • Positive and Normative economics
  • Economics of production and the production possibilities frontier
  • Efficiency in production and consumption

Day 2: What's so special about health care?

  • The market for health care, conditions for efficiency and market failure
  • What makes health care different?
  • Responses to market failure
  • Government intervention and Government failure

Day 3: Managing behaviour to increase efficiency in health care systems

  • The hospital as a producer: Managing resources and delivering care
  • The patient as a consumer: Paying for health care
  • User charges and co-payments: revenue raiser or efficiency tool
  • Substitution effects, income effects, elasticity of demand
  • Paying providers: paying for inputs, paying for throughputs or paying for responsibility

Day 4: Efficiency and equity of health care interventions and health care systems

  • Economic evaluation of health care programmes and efficiency
  • Economic evaluation as a decision support tool : The Incremental Cost Effectiveness Ratio (ICER)
  • Cost effectiveness analysis and efficiency: Back to the production possibilities frontier
  • Portfolio analysis, integer programming and second best solutions
  • Equity and equality in health care systems:
    • Equity, equality and health system goals
    • Access to care: more than just affordability
    • Free health care and social inequalities in health

Day 5: Planning health care systems and behavioural health economics

  • Planning for health care: Projections, forecasts and plans
  • Integrating service,workforce and expenditure planning
  • Separating health workforce needs from health workforce supply.
  • Behavioural health economics: Changing the behaviour of populations, patients, providers and managers

Contact and bookings

Padraig Oakley
Centre for the Business and Economics of Health
20 Cornwall Street
Woollangabba QLD 4102

+61 (07) 3346 1975