Project Description

Philosophy of the Programme:

The epi-centre of philosophy of the programme is hinged on the need to produce policy makers and managers in the health sector as well as academics roundly grounded in an integrated manner in the inter-related fields of health economics implies that they could be offered as an integrated package to the students in the MSc for a holistic acquisition and retention of knowledge required to improve the performance of the health system. However, in the PhD, there will be specialization in one of the disciplines.

There is lack of capacity in health management, economics and policy in Nigeria and most sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries. There is lack of adequately trained as well as academically equipped health management professionals to man management positions in the ministries of health, health organizations and services in Nigeria. These imply that the country and actually most of the countries in the SSA sub-region lack the capacity for health system analysis, health system management; health economics and policy; and overall health management techniques. These are essential skills that are required to improve the health system and ensure that the country attains and sustains the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), institutionalize an efficient and equitable health sector reform programme and ultimately improve the health status of the people and move towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

Evidence shows that the greatest problem preventing appropriate deliver of care, improved access to care and the financial viability of the health system has been the scarcity of trained and seasoned health care managers. Evidence also indicates increasing need for trained health economists/managers by the civil society organizations in attempt at reforming and improving the Nigerian health system. As a result, it has become necessary and important to provide relevant professional training in order to develop health management experts and health economists with high academic and professional skills to provide effective leadership in the health services delivery at both the public and private health sectors.

The phenomenon of lack of management acumen within our healthcare system has become so obvious that persons heading our health institutions and healthcare services are hardly versed in the realm of health management, economics and policy for that matter, resulting in poor, ineffectual and uncoordinated healthcare delivery system. This is partly one of the reasons that the Nigerian healthcare system was ranked by the World Health Organization in 2000 to be one of the worst in the world.

The demand for health managers and administrators has been on the increase since the recent health reform programmes engaged at various governmental levels and partly sponsored by the international community commenced. Up until recently, both public and private health institutions were being managed by non-professional health managers, hence the enduring crises of misallocation of resources, lack of adequate health planning and diagnosis that has plagued the National healthcare delivery system.

The manpower needs for Health Economists as well as Health Systems and Policy Analysts also has remained on the increase especially with the recent health reform programmes in Nigeria and the rest of SSA sub-region. More so, international and civil society organizations are in constant demand of health economists and health system analysts to develop policies and implement various health reform programmes in the country as well as evaluate and provide economic evidence for improving diverse health programmes. The need for health economists run through the desire to build capacity to accomplish the demand for appropriate allocation of scarce resources, health management effectiven3ess and relevant decision making and performance application to the health industry to maximize the health and well-being of the citizenry.

There is a dearth of opportunities for training in areas of health economics, policy and management in, not only Nigeria, but in the rest of SSA region. The few available opportunities that are found mostly in South Africa are inadequate to cater for the needs of the countries and are not affordable to many desiring students. This also implies that there are low numbers of trained manpower in health economics that are able to provide such training to other people in Nigeria. Hence, there is the potential for University of Nigeria to become the leader in this area not only in Nigeria but in the SSA sub-region.

There is thus an urgent need to start the MSc and PhD programme in health economics to help curb the weaknesses in the management of the health system engendered by the absence of the appropriately trained managers in the health sector, which is pre-requisite for improving the healthcare system. In addition, the programme will also produce a critical mass of academics and experts required to teach the courses to other people within the University system and to undertake research activities that will provide the evidence-base for improving the performance of the health system.

Objectives Of the Programme

The MSc programme in Health Economics is designed to provide professional and relevant management of the health sector as well as capacity building in the educational sector for training and research. The set-out objectives of the programme are:

  1. To provide advanced training in health economics, health policy and health management techniques required for managers and policy makers in the health sector as well as to the academia;
  2. To provide specialized training and techniques required for effective planning and analysis of contemporary health sector issues;
  3. To broaden the intellectual base for optimal resource allocation in the ever-evolving health sector in a developing country.
  4. To provide students with frameworks which will enable them to understand and analyse health systems and policies;
  5. To improve the strategic management know-how and training for health care managers to enable the institution of equitable, efficient and effective health system;
  6. To develop health experts capable of engaging in health systems and research and analysis and ultimately improving the performance of health systems; and
  7. To develop a critical mass of academics that will propagate capacity building and research in health economics, management and policies.



The programme will cover the advanced aspects of the disciplines of health economics, health policy, health management and health administration. The programme will also cover epidemiology including the control of common communicable and non-communicable diseases, and advanced principles of organization of health systems including hospitals and health sector reform issues.

Course Objective
Upon completion of this programme the student should be able to:

  • 1. Apply economic principles and techniques to carrying out analysis of health issues in policy issue, reproductive and family health.
  • 2. Undertake independent research in health economics, especially in reproductive and family health policy.
  • 3. Communicate research results to stake holder.
  • 4.  Function professionally in different health care system.
  • 5. Generate and/or supervise data generation for further research and studies in the area of health economics generally.
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Course Structure

The course consists of two parts, part one covers individuals, state and markets in health and health care. Part two covers policy and planning issues in health, reproductive and family health and development each part consists of 56hours of teaching seminars and tutorials.

Course Assessment

The final course mark in each part has the following components:
Class attendance (by students)         10marks
Class tests                                              15marks
Seminar presentation                         25marks
Final examination                               50marks
Total                                                 100marks

The final examination is a 3-hour written paper for each part. The final mark for the course shall be average of the two parts.

Teaching Methodology

The courses shall be taught through lecture methods, study and discussions of published articles and presentation of seminars. For the sake of acquisition of analytical strength by the students health econometrics shall be included among the courses.

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RHE 911 Individuals in Health Care Introduction

This course is meant to expose the student to the dynamics of economics in reproduction and family health. This will sharpen the students understanding and application of economic concepts and techniques to health economics.
Topics to be taught shall include

  • Overview of normative and positive economics of health sector.

  • Human capital model
     Basic model
     Investment model
     Pure competition model empirical testing
     Extension
     Health and schooling
  • Habits and lifestyle
     Smoking
     Alcohol and sustenance abuse
     Sexual behavior including contraceptive use
     The government and lifestyle adjustment for health.

  • RHE 912: States Materials in Health and Healthcare Production

    This course is meant to further the student’s exposure to the mechanisms of economic principles in explaining health economics, especially reproductive and family health. Lectures are therefore focused on peculiarities of health goods and their allocative implication as well as government finance and regulations of health
    Topics to be taught therefore include:

  • Externalities, public goods and including returns to scale

  • Asymmetric information between producers and consumer

  • Role of government arising from peculiarities of health goods

  • Provision of services
     Own facilities
     Purchasing/contracting
  • Regulation

  • Appropriate roles of state and market.

  • ECO 913 Health Care Markets

    This course focuses on the description of healthcare markets. It is meant to expose the students to the dynamics of healthcare market, the peculiarities of the market and their implications both the service providers and the clients. Topics to be considered are:

  • Market prices and outputs

  • Agency issues

  • Moral hazards and consumer incentives for health care

  • The industrial organization of health care

  • Not-for-profit ownership and hospital behavior

  • Economies of general practice

  • The pharmaceutical industry

  • RHE 914 Insurance of Healthcare

    This course is meant to expose the students to insurance of healthcare production generally. It therefore focuses on insurance markets, managed care contracting.

    The need to share the burden of the cost of healthcare especially incidences of unforeseen contingencies in health underscores this course. Topics to be treated include:

  • The autonomy of health insurance

  • Insurance reimbursement

  • Optical design of health insurance contract

  • Health insurance and the labour market

  • Social insurance

  • Managed reproductive care

  • RHE 915 Macroeconomics of Health

    This course is designed to take the students on an exploration of macroeconomics issues on reproductive health and health economics generally. It therefore focuses on the reproductive health, health and development challenges. The course forms the first part of the series of courses on health policy and planning issues which shall be completed in the second semester of the programme. The course therefore focuses on issues of economics of disease, poverty-health nexus growth-health relationships and conflict issues in health. Topics to be treated there shall include:

  • Disease burden measurement

  • Disease burden profile of Nigeria and Africa

  • From poverty to health; impact of nutrition education, overcrowding on health

  • From health to poverty; impact of poor health on labour market. (Absenteeism, low productivity)

  • From growth to health

  • From health to growth

  • Environmental concern

  • Types of conflicts and impact on health system

  • Case studies

RHE 921 Performance Evaluations

This course is meant to expose the students to methods performance evaluation in health systems. Evaluation issues shall be based on reproductive and family health. Analytical tools shall be varied from mathematics, statistics and econometrics. Topics shall therefore include:

  • The measurement of health-related quality of life

  • Advances in cost effectiveness analysis
  • Hospital efficiency studies

     Ratio analysis
     Stochastic frontier analysis
     Data development analysis

  • Equity and efficiency in health care
  • Equity in health care finances and delivery
  • The equity-efficiency trade-off
  • RHE 922 Health Planning and Programming

    This course is meant to expose students to planning and programming processes in healthcare with a special bias for reproductive and family health issues. This is needed for effective policy realization and health targets actualization. Topics to be treated are therefore

  • Health expenditure and health account
  • Partnership in public private mix
  • Strategic health planning
  • Scenario planning
  • Operations research (Goal Programming)
  • Stakeholders Analysis and concerns building tools
  • RHE 922 Globalization and Health

    This course is meant to give health issues and in particular reproductive and family health issues a global exposure, especially recognizing the non-autarky nature of economies of the world today. It therefore focuses on health systems in Nigeria and Africa at large with a comparative bias as well as health and globalization. Topics therefore shall include:

  • Comparative health systems
     Basis for comparison
  • International comparison of health expenditure and outcomes
  • Changing trends in the state-markets mix
  • International migration of health personnel
  • Global public health issues
  • RHE 923 Health Sector Reforms

    The economy is dynamic and so should the principles and policies that guide her activities. This is necessary for adequate policy engineering in reproductive and family health. This course shall therefore focus on health sector policy reforms with a special bias in reproduction and family health policy subsector.

    Topics to be treated therefore are:

  • Health sector reforms:
     Reproductive and family health content
     Global context
  • African initiatives in health sector reforms
     Reproductive and family health context
  • Current trends in health sector reforms
     Reproductive and family health context
  • Lessons for health policy development in Nigeria and Africa.
  • RHE 923 THESES

    This shall be under the supervision of the department as prescribed by the programme. To wit: One local supervisor One foreign supervisor Subject to : internal defense in the department External defense at post graduate school of studies.

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Admission Requirements

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