Philosophy of the Programme:
The epi-centre of philosophy of the programme is hinged on the need to produce policy makers and managers in the health sector as well as academics roundly grounded in an integrated manner in the inter-related fields of health economics implies that they could be offered as an integrated package to the students in the MSc for a holistic acquisition and retention of knowledge required to improve the performance of the health system. However, in the PhD, there will be specialization in one of the disciplines.
There is lack of capacity in health management, economics and policy in Nigeria and most sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries. There is lack of adequately trained as well as academically equipped health management professionals to man management positions in the ministries of health, health organizations and services in Nigeria. These imply that the country and actually most of the countries in the SSA sub-region lack the capacity for health system analysis, health system management; health economics and policy; and overall health management techniques. These are essential skills that are required to improve the health system and ensure that the country attains and sustains the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), institutionalize an efficient and equitable health sector reform programme and ultimately improve the health status of the people and move towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
Evidence shows that the greatest problem preventing appropriate deliver of care, improved access to care and the financial viability of the health system has been the scarcity of trained and seasoned health care managers. Evidence also indicates increasing need for trained health economists/managers by the civil society organizations in attempt at reforming and improving the Nigerian health system. As a result, it has become necessary and important to provide relevant professional training in order to develop health management experts and health economists with high academic and professional skills to provide effective leadership in the health services delivery at both the public and private health sectors.
The phenomenon of lack of management acumen within our healthcare system has become so obvious that persons heading our health institutions and healthcare services are hardly versed in the realm of health management, economics and policy for that matter, resulting in poor, ineffectual and uncoordinated healthcare delivery system. This is partly one of the reasons that the Nigerian healthcare system was ranked by the World Health Organization in 2000 to be one of the worst in the world.
The demand for health managers and administrators has been on the increase since the recent health reform programmes engaged at various governmental levels and partly sponsored by the international community commenced. Up until recently, both public and private health institutions were being managed by non-professional health managers, hence the enduring crises of misallocation of resources, lack of adequate health planning and diagnosis that has plagued the National healthcare delivery system.
The manpower needs for Health Economists as well as Health Systems and Policy Analysts also has remained on the increase especially with the recent health reform programmes in Nigeria and the rest of SSA sub-region. More so, international and civil society organizations are in constant demand of health economists and health system analysts to develop policies and implement various health reform programmes in the country as well as evaluate and provide economic evidence for improving diverse health programmes. The need for health economists run through the desire to build capacity to accomplish the demand for appropriate allocation of scarce resources, health management effectiven3ess and relevant decision making and performance application to the health industry to maximize the health and well-being of the citizenry.
There is a dearth of opportunities for training in areas of health economics, policy and management in, not only Nigeria, but in the rest of SSA region. The few available opportunities that are found mostly in South Africa are inadequate to cater for the needs of the countries and are not affordable to many desiring students. This also implies that there are low numbers of trained manpower in health economics that are able to provide such training to other people in Nigeria. Hence, there is the potential for University of Nigeria to become the leader in this area not only in Nigeria but in the SSA sub-region.
There is thus an urgent need to start the MSc and PhD programme in health economics to help curb the weaknesses in the management of the health system engendered by the absence of the appropriately trained managers in the health sector, which is pre-requisite for improving the healthcare system. In addition, the programme will also produce a critical mass of academics and experts required to teach the courses to other people within the University system and to undertake research activities that will provide the evidence-base for improving the performance of the health system.
Objectives Of the Programme
The MSc programme in Health Economics is designed to provide professional and relevant management of the health sector as well as capacity building in the educational sector for training and research. The set-out objectives of the programme are:
- To provide advanced training in health economics, health policy and health management techniques required for managers and policy makers in the health sector as well as to the academia;
- To provide specialized training and techniques required for effective planning and analysis of contemporary health sector issues;
- To broaden the intellectual base for optimal resource allocation in the ever-evolving health sector in a developing country.
- To provide students with frameworks which will enable them to understand and analyse health systems and policies;
- To improve the strategic management know-how and training for health care managers to enable the institution of equitable, efficient and effective health system;
- To develop health experts capable of engaging in health systems and research and analysis and ultimately improving the performance of health systems; and
- To develop a critical mass of academics that will propagate capacity building and research in health economics, management and policies.
The programme will cover the advanced aspects of the disciplines of health economics, health policy, health management and health administration. The programme will also cover epidemiology including the control of common communicable and non-communicable diseases, and advanced principles of organization of health systems including hospitals and health sector reform issues.
Upon completion of this programme the student should be able to:
1. Apply economic principles and techniques to carrying out analysis of health issues in policy issue, reproductive and family health.
2. Undertake independent research in health economics, especially in reproductive and family health policy.
3. Communicate research results to stake holder.
4. Function professionally in different health care system.
5. Generate and/or supervise data generation for further research and studies in the area of health economics generally.
The course consists of two parts, part one covers individuals, state and markets in health and health care. Part two covers policy and planning issues in health, reproductive and family health and development each part consists of 56hours of teaching seminars and tutorials.
The final course mark in each part has the following components:
Class attendance (by students) 10marks
Class tests 15marks
Seminar presentation 25marks
Final examination 50marks
The final examination is a 3-hour written paper for each part. The final mark for the course shall be average of the two parts.
The courses shall be taught through lecture methods, study and discussions of published articles and presentation of seminars. For the sake of acquisition of analytical strength by the students health econometrics shall be included among the courses.