PUBH 3011 Health Politics, Policy and Planning

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 401195

Coordinator Anna Spencer Opens in new window

Description Health professionals work in a complex health and healthcare sector governed by policy on population health and healthcare. This subject considers the role of policy in health and healthcare. It examines policy making as both a rational and linear process responding to population health needs in just and fair ways, and the reality of policy making which occurs within a complex socio-political and economic environment, shaped by powerful groups. The aim of this subject is therefore to consider how health professionals can develop effective policy and the role advocacy can play in the health policy arena to engender greater health equity.

School Health Sciences

Discipline Health Promotion

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 2 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 3 subject

Equivalent Subjects PUBH 2013 - Health Politics Policy and Planning LGYA 7182 - Health Politics Policy and Planning
PUBH 3025 - Health Policy and Advocacy

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Critically analyse health policies and the policy making process
  2. Identify the role of politics in the policy making process and demonstrate how it influences health outcomes for populations
  3. Identify and demonstrate how context e.g. socio-political, historical, ideological and economic factors shape Australian health policy
  4. Assess the role of quantitative and qualitative research in relation to health policy making
  5. Evaluate the role of major interest groups (advocacy and lobbyists) in the policy making process
  6. Identify the health policy needs of vulnerable populations
  7. Develop an understanding of and skills in health advocacy work
  8. Utilise interprofessional health competencies in communication, negotiation, cooperation and teamwork

Subject Content

1.Defining policy
2.Goals, purpose and scope of health policy.
3.Historical and political aspects of Australian health policy and health care system.
4.Funding arrangements and levels of responsibility.
5.Ideological approaches to health including health care provision.
6.Structural interest groups, pressure groups and political processes.
7.Public policy types e.g. distributive, regulatory, self-regulatory or redistributive.
8.Healthy public policy.
9.Policy co-ordination and intersectoral collaboration.
10.Theories of power, choice/decision-making and the concept of rationing.
11.The politics of policy making
12.Policy making process and what is good health policy.
13.The agency of groups and individuals to challenge power and bring about policy change
14.Lobbying and its impact on the public health agenda and policy formulation
16.Interest groups and advocacy
17.Community participation/active citizenship and empowerment in health
18.Research in policy making


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Essay: Critical Analysis of a Health Policy 1,000 words 30 N Individual
Proposal and Presentation: Advocating for a Vulnerable Population Proposal 1,000 words and 20 minute presentation 30 N Group
Final Quiz Take home quiz 40 N Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • Text book ? Buse, K., Mays, N., & Walt, G. (2012). Making health policy. Online Edition, Open University Press.

Structures that include subject