• Introduction


    "Set within the political and institutional framework of a country, a health system is “the ensemble of all public and private organizations, institutions, and resources mandated to improve, maintain or restore health."” From Health systems strengthening, universal health coverage, health security and resilience

    "A health system comprises all organizations, institutions and resources whose primary intent is to improve health. In most countries, the health system is recognized to include public, private and informal sectors. While the World Health Organization (WHO) emphasizes economic, fiscal and political management systems that underpin formally organized health services, it also recognizes the informal sector; this consists of self-help and care by families and communities, and the role of informal and traditional practitioners. Health systems are about more than patient care: they attend to why people become ill in the first place, and foster health-promoting environments, and sound preventive practices." From Primary Health Care and Public Health: Foundations of Universal Health Systems

    The need to understand, and to improve, health systems is well encapsulated by this quote from US President Obama who stated: “We will not be successful in our efforts to end deaths from AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis unless we do more to improve the health systems around the world” (5 May 2009).

    The aim of this course is to explore health systems, focusing on those in low- to middle-income countries. The course would be suitable for any health professional either working in or interested in health systems in developing countries.

    By the end of the course, you should be able to:

    • Understand the attributes of health systems, the role of leadership and governance, and the potential of Health Systems Strengthening

    • Understand the role of various forms of health financing and health insurance, with relevance for Developing Countries

    • Identify what is needed for quality improvement in patient care and health care systems, and the importance of health information to measure process and outcome

    • Explain the importance of the availability of essential drugs, procedures, vaccines and technology (using vaccines as a case study)

    • Understand the importance of an adequate, well trained, and well performing health workforce

    The World Health Organisation has attempted to identify 6 building blocks for health systems, and this course covers each of these blocks:

    From: World Health Organization (WHO). Everybody's business - strengthening health systems to improve health outcomes: WHO's framework for action. WHO; Geneva: 2007. http://www.who.int/healthsystems/strategy/everybodys_business.pdf

    The World Bank is also a key player in health systems: "In the era of sustainable development goals, the World Bank plays a pivotal role in promoting universal health coverage and strengthening health systems." From Universal health coverage, health systems strengthening, and the World Bank

    Navigating the course.

    We have provided summaries of, and links to, a number of resources we think you will find interesting - to access them, click on the Resources in each section, and then on the blue 'hyperlinks within each set of resources. There is also a forum in each section for Reflection - you can post your reflections there if you wish, and see if others have also posted their reflections. There is a quiz at the end to test your knowledge. You can gain a certificate if you download the resources in each section and pass the quiz.

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  • Health Systems Home Page




    Introduction

    The aim of this course is to explore health systems, focusing on those in low- to middle-income countries. The course would be suitable for any health professional either working in or interested in health systems in developing countries.

    The need to understand, and to improve, health systems is well encapsulated by this quote from U.S. President Obama who stated: “We will not be successful in our efforts to end deaths from AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis unless we do more to improve the health systems around the world” (5 May 2009).

    The World Bank is also a key player in health systems: "In the era of sustainable development goals, the World Bank plays a pivotal role in promoting universal health coverage and strengthening health systems," from Universal health coverage, health systems strengthening, and the World Bank.

    The course is designed to help you: 

    1. Understand the attributes of health systems, the role of leadership and governance, and the potential of Health Systems Strengthening.
    2. Understand the role of various forms of health financing and health insurance, with relevance for developing countries.
    3. Identify what is needed for quality improvement in patient care and health care systems, and the importance of health information to measure process and outcome.
    4. Explain the importance of the availability of essential drugs, procedures, vaccines and technology (using vaccines as a case study).
    5. Understand the importance of an adequate, well-trained, and well-performing health workforce.


    This course is an Open Online Course (OOC) and was created and has been adopted from Peoples-uni. It was further developed by NextGenU.org (NGU) and sponsored in part by the Annenberg Physician Training Program (APTP).

    There are five (5) modules to complete, which include:

    Module 1: Health Systems - Their Attributes, Governance and Strengthening
    Module 2: Health Care Financing
    Module 3: Quality and Information
    Module 4: Case Study: Availability of Essential Drugs, Procedures, Vaccines and Technology
    Module 5: The Health Workforce

    Approximate time for completion of this course is 5 hours at an average reading rate of 144 words/minute.

    Engaging with this course

    • To register for this course, complete the registration form. Begin the course with Module 1. For each lesson, read the description. 
    • Each lesson comprises introductory remarks. You can click on the collections of resources in each module. 
    • There is a forum on each module for reflection, and you will be able to add a new topic or respond to a previous one. You may want to share your learning from this and other readings, comment on the topics from your own experience, comment on others' posts, or provide feedback on how we can improve the content and/or presentation.
    • There is a final quiz to assess your understanding of some important concepts. Click on the hyperlinks to take you to these items in each topic.


    Requirements to obtain the certificate 

    You may browse this course for free to learn for your personal enrichment. There are no requirements.

    To obtain a certificate, a learner must successfully complete:

    • All reading requirements
    • All discussion forums
    • The final exam with a minimum of 70% and a maximum of 3 attempts and
    • The self and course evaluation forms

  • Module 1: Health Systems - Their Attributes, Governance and Strengthening

    The resources in this section are designed to help you understand the importance of health systems to the health of populations and the role of leadership and governance, and the potential of Health Systems Strengthening.

    1 Page, 1 Forum
  • Module 2: Health Care Financing

    This section of the course is designed to help you understand the role of various forms of health financing and health insurance, with relevance for developing countries.

    1 Page, 1 Forum
  • Module 3: Quality and Information

    This section of the course is designed to help identify what is needed for quality improvement in patient care and health care systems, and the importance of health information to measure process and outcome. Both the quality of care and useful information systems are important attributes of good health systems.

    1 Page, 1 Forum
  • Module 4: Case Study: Availability of Essential Drugs, Procedures, Vaccines and Technology

    This section of the course allows us to consider the importance of the availability of essential drugs, procedures, vaccines and technology (using vaccines as a case study).

    1 Page, 1 Forum
  • Module 5: The Health Workforce

    This section of the course is designed to help you understand the importance of an adequate, well-trained, and well-performing health workforce.

    1 Page, 1 Forum
  • Final Exam

  • Course and Self Evaluation & Certificate

    In this section, you can provide feedback about this course to help us make NextGenU.org better. Once evaluations are completed, you will be able to download your Certificate of Completion.
    Click here to give your feedback.
  • Gain a Certificate

    Not available

    If you have downloaded the resources in each section and passed the quiz, you can gain a certificate.