Economic Aspects of Healthcare

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Code Completion Credits Range Language
F7PMS1EKZ Z,ZK 5 2P+2S Czech
Garant předmětu:
Lucie Severová
Martina Caithamlová, Petra Hospodková, Lucie Severová
Aneta Benešová, Martina Caithamlová, Eliška Friebová
Department of Biomedical Technology

This course introduces students to the fundamentals of health care economics, providing an understanding of the basic approaches to the study of health care as an important sector of the national economy. It introduces the market in health care, the occurrence of sub-market structures in health care, the supply of health care, the demand for health care and its specifics, and familiarizes students with tools for rationalizing supply and demand. In addition, the course discusses the issue of public goods, and introduces students to the concept of market failure and its forms.

In terms of macroeconomics, the course deals primarily with the health sector as part of the national economy, the importance of the public sector in the national economy, and the functions of the public sector. The role of the state in the national economy is introduced. The financing of health care - sources, financial flows and forms of payment - is also discussed. Students are also introduced to basic macroeconomic concepts such as inflation, unemployment and gross domestic product.

Upon successful completion, students will be able to better understand the functioning of the economic system as a whole and the economic aspects of health care.


The course is completed by credit and examination.

Credit is conditional on attendance at seminars (max. 2 absences).

At the same time, two credit tests are written during the semester; the success rate for each test must be at least 50% (each test max. 25 points, success rate min. 12.5 points for each test).

The exam is oral (max. 50 points).

Assessment according to the ECTS scale.

Syllabus of lectures:

- Introduction to economics - basic economic concepts (origin of economics as a science, brief development of economic thinking, needs, goods, services, health care, economics of health care, state and flow variables, average, marginal and total variables).

- Economic system and its elements. Economic nature of health services.

- Demand for health care and its specificities. Factors affecting demand, elasticity of demand.

- Supply of health care, factors influencing the level of supply.

- Perfect competition, basic characteristics of a perfectly competitive environment, equilibrium in a perfectly competitive market. Imperfect competition and its forms - basic characteristics, conditions of imperfect competition

- Imperfect competition (monopoly, oligopoly, monopolistic competition), market failure. Examples of imperfect competition in health care.

- Public goods. Externalities.

- The state and the public sector: the importance of the public sector in the national economy. Functions of the public sector. .

- The role of the state in the national economy, plurality of approaches.

- Economic policy, its objectives and instruments. Measuring the performance of the state economy, gross domestic product. Health expenditure as a share of GDP.

- Fiscal policy. Public budgets. State budget, its revenues and expenditures. Financing of health care in the Czech Republic, sources, financial flows, forms of payment.

- Public health insurance system and the position of health insurance companies in the system.

- Labour market, specifics of the health care labour market. Unemployment and its consequences. Labour market situation in the health sector.

- Inflation, measurement of inflation, causes and consequences of inflation. Impact of inflation on the health sector.

Syllabus of tutorials:

- Shifts of demand and supply curves, practice determinants of curves, application of price elasticity of demand.

- Factors affecting patient demand, elasticity of demand. Role of physicians in shaping demand.

- Factors affecting the level of supply of health care. Rationalization of health care supply - instruments of regulation.

- Perfect competition - graphical representation, calculation of optimal quantity if firm max profit, supply shaping.

- Imperfect competition in practice I - Monopoly, monopolistic competition and oligopoly. Examples, profit maximization, graphical representation.

- Imperfect competition in practice II - Oligopolistic market structure - types of oligopoly, supply formation in oligopoly

- Public goods and their classification. The problem of „stowaways“. Externalities and their classification.

- Workshop on „What is the role of the state in the economy, main features of the public sector“.

- The national economy and the criteria for its classification. For-profit sector, non-profit sector.

- Gross Domestic Product - formation and measurement of GDP.

- Comparison of health insurance companies in the Czech Republic - management, competition, benefits.

- Characteristics of public finances, structure of public finances, system of public budgets. State budget of the Czech Republic. Chapters of the state budget.

- Labour market. Specifics of the health care labour market. Unemployment - measurement, breakdown, unemployment costs.

- Inflation - measurement of inflation, development of inflation in the Czech Republic, causes of inflation.

Study Objective:
Study materials:

JACKSON, D.: Healthcare Economics Made Easy, third edition. Scion Publishing Ltd., 2021. ISBN 9781911510826

BERNELL, S.: Health Economics: Core Concepts and Essential Tools. Health Administration, 2016. Press, ISBN 978-1567937558.

Time-table for winter semester 2024/2025:
Time-table is not available yet
Time-table for summer semester 2024/2025:
Time-table is not available yet
The course is a part of the following study plans:
Data valid to 2024-06-13
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