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DUE DATE: June 1, 201711.45 pm


Essays are to be submittedby the due date. Late essays (without special consideration) will be penalised at a rate of 3 percentage points per day.


Please submit your Essay as a Word or PDF document using the following file-name convention:

[26703_Essay_(lastname)_(student number)]. Include this cover page in your document.


Essays are to be submitted via Turnitin (link is available on UTSOnline via the “Assignment” tab) by the due date.


Name:             ___________________________________________

Student number:       _____________________________________

Essay topic (please indicate):Topic 1 /Topic 2 /Topic 3 /Topic 4 / Topic 5


The assignment is worth 35% of the overall grade. Please include your name and student number on each page.  The marking criteria are indicated below.

Criteria Poor Satisfactory Good Very good Excellent
Description of the issue          
Identification of relevant economic theory          
Use of analytic tools          
Clearly written and addresses all aspects of the question and is well researched.          



HD 85-100% Excellent in 3 or more criteria and other criteria good or very good and no poor
D 75-84% Very good in 3 or more criteria and no poor Or 2 excellent, no more than one satisfactory and no poor
Cr 65-74% 3 or more good Or2 good, one very good or excellent and no poor
P 50-64% 2 or more satisfactory or better and no more than 2 poor
F <50% 3 or more poor

Choose one of the following essay topics. The maximum word limit for the essay is 1500 words. Diagrams and tables may be used in your answer and these will not be counted towards the word limit. The essay should be submitted in 12 point font with margins of at least 2.5cm

All sources must be appropriately acknowledged and referenced, and a reference list must be provided. The reference list will not be counted toward the 1500 word limit.

Students must submit an individual essay that reflects his/her own work, and that is expressed in his/her own words. Please review the statement of plagiarism in the Subject Outline and ensure that your essay adheres to these guidelines.

  Topic Choice 1:  Vaccination policies

Australia has a “No Jab No Pay – immunisation requirements” policy that requires that children meet immunisation requirements in order for parents to qualify for certain taxation and social welfare benefits.

What are the key health economic principles underpinning how such a policy would operate? From a health economics perspective, why might the government introduce such a policy?

  Topic Choice 2:  Private health insurance in Australia

 In hospital care, Australia has a mixed public-private system.  Hospitals are financed through a mixture of general taxation, levies, private health insurance premiums and patient co-payments. Hospital treatments are provided by State-owned public hospitals as well as non-profit and for-profit private hospitals. About 48 % of the Australians have any form of private health insurance. People who hold private insurance remain eligible to receive care in public hospitals. In this system, universal health insurance and private health insurance co-exist.

In this essay, you should answer the following questions using your knowledge of the Australian health care system and concepts learned during the course:


1)         Why does health insurance, in general, exist in health care market? Explain.

2)         Why do around half of the Australians have private health insurance despite universal health insurance?

3)         What could be the potential effects of increasing private health insurance premium on the public and private hospitals?

  Topic Choice 3:  Antimicrobial resistance

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) occurs when microorganisms develop resistance to antibiotics. AMR is a natural phenomenon enabled by high volume use of antibiotics.  It is a global issue where human action and perverse incentives play a major role in its development.

In this essay,

  • Describe why AMR is a major societal problem.
  • Explain how market failures may have contributed to the problem of AMR..
  • Identify at least two alternative government interventions that could counter the market failures associated with AMR, and discuss their strengths and weaknesses.


 Topic Choice 4:  Substandard, spurious, falsely labelled, falsified and counterfeit

                            (SSFFC) medicines           

 Many countries across the world struggle with combating substandard, spurious, falsely labelled, falsified and counterfeit (SSFFC) medicines. These medicines are often designed to appear identical to the genuine product and may not always cause an obvious adverse reaction, however they will often fail to properly treat the disease or condition for which they were intended. SSFFC products reported to the World Health Organisation include medicines from all therapeutic categories, including very expensive products for cancer to very inexpensive products for treatment of pain.

In this essay, discuss:

  • The economic reasons why SSFFC medicines are being produced and bought.
  • What impact could SSFFC medicines have on the supply, demand and price of effective, non-falsified, medicines; and
  • What interventions could government consider to counter the adverse impact of SSFFC medicines, being sure to explain how these would work?

Topic Choice 5:  Bulk-billing rates for general practice  

 The most recent data reported by the Commonwealth Department of Health shows that the bulk-billing rate for general practice consultations fell between July and December 2016 (see details).  The bulk-billing rate is widely regarded in Australia as a measure of access as it indicates the percentage of services where patients did not face any out-of-pocket costs for their health care.

In this essay, discuss:

  • Whether a decrease in the bulk-billing rate should be a concern for low income families and whether high income families should also be concerned;
  • What are some of the factors that would impact whether a doctor chooses to bulk-bill; and
  • Whether the Government should implement a policy to increase the amount of bulk-billing and how this would work.

Assessment task 2: An essay or project on a selected topic in health economics Objective(s): This addresses Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:

understand and describe the principles of economic analysis in health care

  1. describe the operation of health care markets
  2. use health economics techniques to inform resource allocation and priority setting in the health system

Weight: 35% Task:

Students will have a choice of at least three essay topics on selected topics in health economics. The maximum word limit for the essay is 1500 words. Essay topics will be available on UTS Online on 1 May 2017. Length: 1500 words Due: 11.45pm Thursday 1 June 2017


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