You are expected to write an at least 2000 words essay on a self-selected topic of health economics (check the syllabus and the below examples for ideas on relevant topics). You are required to cite and relate your perspectives to references such as research papers, government reports and published articles. The use of country level statistics is highly recommended as further support. Simple statistical analysis using public available data set is appreciated.
For the presentation on your essay, you are expected to give three 5-6 min talks followed by a 1-2 min discussion and Q&A in the workshop sessions of week 4, 8 and 11, respectively (check your timetable for time and location). In your first presentation you are expected to talk about the topic you choose, the background and its importance. The second presentation will be a literature review of the topic and the final one will be on your conclusion.
Below are some examples on potential topics for the essay and presentations. Please note that it is not necessary for you to choose one of these topics. They are meant to provide ideas and examples.
Topic 1 Health care expenditure growth and its driver
Health care expenditure has grown considerably all around the world in the last two decades. The major drivers of the fast growth include, but are not limited to, population aging, longer life expectancy, unhealthy lifestyle, and epidemiology of diseases (such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancers, etc.). Discuss the impact of at least one of these cost drivers (not necessary to be in the above list, as long as you think it is important), and the relevant policy implication.
Topic 2 Obesity and the social burden caused by obesity
According to WHO estimates, the worldwide prevalence of obesity more than doubled between 1980 and 2014. Raised BMI is a major risk factor for non-communicable diseases including cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension and coronary disease, type II diabetes, gallbladder disease, musculoskeletal disorders especially osteoarthritis, and some cancers such as endometrial, breast and colon. Discuss the huge burden on health care and welfare systems caused by the prevalence of obesity, and related policy incentives and interventions.
Topic 3 How lifestyles impact on individual health status?
From the perspective of the Grossman Model, discuss the impacts of lifestyles, such as exercise, drinking and smoking habits, on people’s physical health status.
Topic 4 National Health Service (NHS)
The NHS was launched in 1948. It was born out of a long-held ideal that good healthcare should be available to all, regardless of wealth – one of the NHS’s core principles. What’s your opinion on its efficiency and equity?