HP4E2E      Half Unit
Paying for Healthcare

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Elias Mossialos COW 2.12 and Prof Andrew Street COW 1.02


This course is compulsory on the Executive MSc in Health Economics and Policy (LSE and Chicago). This course is not available as an outside option.

Course content

This course aims to introduce students to a comparative approach to analysing the development of health care financing, both in theory and in practice, with an emphasis on critical assessment of current and future policy options and issues. It focuses on the health financing functions of collecting revenue, pooling funds and purchasing services, as well as on policy choices concerning coverage, resource allocation and market structure. The course mainly draws on examples from health financing policy in developed countries, given these systems are the most advanced, have extensive readily available literature, and are based on best practice principles. However, healthcare system financing in developing countries will also be discussed, albeit to a lesser extent.


15 hours of lectures and 6 hours of seminars in the MT.

In addition, students will be given the option to participate in a webinar hosted at least 10 days before the due date of the take-home assessment.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 essay in the MT.

Students will be provided with an option to complete a practise essay (up to 1,000 words), with topics provided by the lecturer. The essay will be reviewed by a faculty member and comments will be provided to students to assist them in their final essay.

Indicative reading

WHO, World Health Report 2010 - Health systems financing: the path to universal coverage (2010)

E Mossialos, A Dixon, J Figueras & J Kutzin (eds), Funding health care: options for Europe, Open University Press (2002)

T Rice, The economics of health reconsidered, Health Administration Press (3nd edn, 2009)

JS Skinner, A Chandra, DC Goodman, ES Fisher. The elusive connection between health care spending and quality. Health Affairs 2009;28(1):w119–23

PC Smith, E Mossialos, I Papanicolas, S Leatherman (eds). Performance Measurement for Health System Improvement: Experiences, Challenges and Prospects. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010


Take-home assessment (100%) in the LT.

The assessment is a take-home assessment. It will outline six topics covering the course content. Students will be required to complete two of the six topics, which will need to be at least 1,500 words in length. 

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Health Policy

Total students 2020/21: Unavailable

Average class size 2020/21: Unavailable

Controlled access 2020/21: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Specialist skills