Course syllabus for

Health Economics - Financing Health and Medical Care, 10 credits

Hälsoekonomi - finansiering av hälso- och sjukvården, 10 hp
This course syllabus is valid from autumn 2022.
Please note that the course syllabus is available in the following versions:
Autumn2017 , Autumn2022
Course code
Course name
Health Economics - Financing Health and Medical Care
10 credits
Form of Education
Higher Education, study regulation 2007
Main field of study 
Medical Management 
AV - Second cycle 
Grading scale
Fail (U), pass (G) or pass with distinction (VG)
Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics
Decided by
Education committee LIME
Decision date
Revised by
Education committee LIME
Last revision
Course syllabus valid from
Autumn 2022

Specific entry requirements

A Bachelor's degree or a professional degree equivalent to a Swedish Bachelor's degree of at least 180 credits in public health science, healthcare or other relevant social sciences subject area. And proficiency in English equivalent to English B/English 6.


The course intends to provide students with sufficient background in health economics theory to be able to understand how the health care sector works and under what conditions health care can be efficiently produced and contribute to an improved health and to a more equal distribution of health. In particular the course provide students with ability to understand the implications of market and government failures in the context of health care, and understand how many institutions and regulatory arrangements observed in the sector can be linked to different types of markets.

General objectives of the course:

To give an introduction to health economics theory and methods and how they could be applied to analyse the functioning of health system and the determinants of health and use of health services. Furthermore the objective is to enhance the participants existing set of health economics skills and encourage networking among fellow students.

After completion of the course the student should:

Knowledge and understanding

  • know of the major theories and frameworks for core areas of health economics in terms of main issues, methods, results and unresolved problems;
  • have a good understanding of how economic theory and methods are applied in the health care sector; the financing and organisation of health services in different system, health insurance theory and practice, the nature of competition and planning in health care; efficiency and equity considerations in health and health care;
  • have an awareness of the advantages and problems of working across disciplines.

Applying knowledge and making judgements

  • have the ability to deal logically with the relationship between theory, empirical modelling and interpretation of results
  • have the ability to suggest ways to apply and adjust economic theory to deal with health-related issues
  • have the ability to make a reflective use of the scientific literature, identifying strengths and weaknesses in theoretical and empirical work

Skills and abilities

  • be able to integrate knowledge and understanding of health economic theory and methods for independent analysis of different problems of how health care is financing and organised, including the role of third-party payers, the central government, public and private providers
  • be able to plan and, using appropriate methods, carry out advanced tasks within specified time limits and to clearly present and discuss conclusions
  • be able to demonstrate the skill required to seek and analyse new information and sources of information with a high degree of independence
  • have developed the ability to individually write an essay at the master level

Judgement and approach

  • show a high degree of independence in setting up problems and analyse health economics issues
  • be able to account relevant scientific and policy aspects
  • be able to demonstrate insight into the potential and limitations of science, its role in society and organizations and people's responsibility for how it is used
  • be able to identify knowledge gaps and type of research that could close these gaps


Health economics can be defined as the use of economic methods to analyse how scarce resources are used in the health sector and in relation to health. The course provides an overview of a number of core areas in health economics; microeconomic tools and concepts, efficient markets, public goods, market failures and government interventions, the physician-patient relationship, health insurance and information problems, competition in the hospital industry, equity in theory and practice, health care systems. The course provides training in health economic analyses and presentations, both written and oral.

Teaching methods

Lectures and various kinds of seminars.
Group-work with presentations and individual assignments


- Individual written assignments.
- Individual contribution in written report and oral presentation of group work.
- Individual contribution during other compulsory course activities.

Requirements for the grade Pass with distinction (VG) are VG on the written assignment and pass (G) on remaining assignments.

Compulsory participation
Participation in seminars, group work and certain lecturers is compulsary. Detailed information will be given in the schedule. The course director assesses if, and in that case how, absence can be compensated. Before the student has participated in all compulsory parts or compensated absence in accordance with the course director's instructions, the student's results for the course/respective part will not be registered in LADOK.

Limitation of number of occasions to write the exam
The student has the right to write the exam six times. If the student has not passed the exam after four participations he/she is encouraged to visit the study advisor.

The number of times that the student has participated in one and the same examination is regarded as an examination session. Submission of a blank examination is regarded as an examination. An examination for which the student registered but not participated in will not be counted as an examination.

Transitional provisions

Examination will be provided during a time of two years after a possible cancellation of the course. Examination can take place according to an earlier literature list during a time of one year after the date when a major renewal of the literature list has been made.


Other directives

Course evaluation will be carried out in accordance with the guidelines established by the Board of Higher Education.

The course language is English.

Literature and other teaching aids

Morris, S.; Morris, S. Economic analysis in health care