Comparative healthcare systems

Advanced certificate - optional module
20 credits, total study time: 200 hours (17 weeks) 

A healthcare system is a ‘dynamic network of agents acting in parallel, constantly reacting to what the other agents are doing, which in turn influences behaviour and the network as a whole’.

Across the world healthcare systems are faced with tackling how to meet increasing healthcare needs with limited resources in a way that is both qualitatively and financially sustainable. Sustainability needs to be addressed in terms of individual organisations, local geographical areas and for the healthcare system overall. This module will explore how this issue is tackled in the United Kingdom and elsewhere in the world, identifying both success and failure and contemplating where the NHS goes next when it is clear that it cannot provide everything for everyone for ever.

Topics covered

  • Elements of a healthcare system
  • Financing healthcare
  • Classification of healthcare systems and their funding
  • Country reviews of national healthcare systems
  • International comparisons of health expenditure and their sensitivity to global/ local recession and growth
  • The impact of lifestyle, ageing and technology on health spending
  • The fiscal sustainability of health systems
  • Global trends in healthcare – universal coverage, performance and payment systems
  • Integrated care
  • Issues facing emerging countries
Learning outcomes

  • Critically analyse and evaluate a range of global health systems (of high, middle and low income countries) and their financing arrangements with respect to:
     - global health expenditure and the impact of demography and recession and growth 
    - healthcare issues facing emerging countries 
    - global trends in healthcare
    - integration
  • Critically appraise the financial sustainability of healthcare systems and the likely impact of lifestyle, aging and technology



  • Learners will complete a 4,000 word portfolio based assessment, including a case study and essay questions

Making finance work in the NHS
Core module


Personal effectiveness and leadership
Optional module


Managing the healthcare business 
Optional module

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