This text is an introduction to health economics and finance for low income countries, which is easy to use and read and does not assume previous training in economics. It explains health economics in an accessible applied way using material from, and relevant to, developing countries. The focus in on practical use. Core areas are selected for health economists to study in detail, with brief discussions and suggestions for further reading of linked topics more commonly studied under other related disciplines, such as public health and health management. Each chapter introduces a topic, then by the use of question and answer sessions between a group of (humourously named) characters in a fictional country, the relevant material is covered in a lively way. The chapter ends with a summary, practice exercises for the reader and a list of references and suggestions for further reading. There is a glossary of health economics terms to help the reader. The authors are experienced teachers and consultants in international health economics, based at the Centre for Health Economics at the University of York. All four teach short courses on health economics for developing country students.
Part 1 Introduction to health economics: introduction to health economics; health and development - the broad issues. Part 2 Financing health care: financing health service (1); financing health services (2). Part 3 Allocating resources for health and health care: the use of cost information; measuring health benefits; financial and economic appraisal of health care projects; setting priorities in health care. Part 4 The organization of health services: public and private roles in the provisioin of health services; health system decentralization; provider payment systems; measuring and improving efficiency in health care. Appendices: the ethics and philosophy of health economics; a brief history of health policy and health sector reform in developing countries; glossary of common health economic terms; useful Internet resources for health economists.