Understanding health systems and policy

This course examines different health systems frameworks to locate public health issues.

This course enables students to understand and critically examine the complex interconnections between health policy and systems. Health systems have traditionally been understood as technical institutions delivering​‘health care’ services, the course will encourage students to engage with the developments in the field in understanding the complexities of health systems and policies that include not only the​‘hardware’ (human resources, services, medicine and technology, organisational structure, services etc.) but also the​‘software’ (ideas and interests, relationships and power, values and norms, social and political contexts at different levels- local-global) as well as the process/​functioning of health systems (devolution of power, accountability/​regulation, community empowerment, etc.)

Students would learn how health policies and systems have evolved with shifting narratives of calls for Health for All-Universal Health Coverage – Health Assurance- Health in All Policies and its implications. They would examine different health systems frameworks to locate public health issues. 

The course would also examine different health systems reforms and strengthening efforts in response to these shifting policies. Far from a linear, value-neutral, apolitical process, students would also understand the politics of the policy-making process in unravelling the role of actors and contexts in shaping policies.