A2. The Visible Hand- The many Facets of Social Health Protection Financing (3 ECTS)

About this training

This course gives very comprehensive overview on the role of economics in dealing with scarce resource and fair allocation of goods and services in health care. The course provides an introduction into measuring the flow of funds in a health system through different forms of health care financing arrangements. It discusses why health care should not be left to the market allocation mechanism and why government might intervene. 

The course reflects on uncertainty both with regard to accident or disease and the effectiveness of treatment and what this means for financing health care. Health insurance theory and in particularly moral hazard and adverse selection are discussed. The major forms of financing health care are reviewed, including the role of private health insurance. One module reflects on Universal Health Coverage and the need for a moral basis when justifying large-scale government intervention.

The course looks at many practical aspects that need to be considered when setting up a health purchasing organisation. 

Social Protection and Social Security

Interested in learning applicable skills in the field of social protection? Our course offering covers everything from health insurance and pension systems to policy implementation and monitoring. By partnering with the University of Maastricht, the German Pension Fund and AOK International Consulting, we are able to disseminate the knowledge of a range of experts. Participants can sign up for individual face-to-face and online courses, or complete our Certificate in Social Protection. 

Learning Objectives

By the end of this course participants should be able to:

  • Understand key concepts of economics and explain the key role of equity when it comes to paying for health
  • Explain key concepts in insurance theory Argue why health financing needs an ethical basis to justify government intervention
  • Describe financial consequence of health care and understand the reasoning behind actuarial analyses
  • Explain the idea behind developing a benefit package and discuss the concept of Universal Health Coverage in the context of health insurance Describe the concept of fiscal space and why it is need when expanding coverage Sketch key elements of managing the financing, quality and access
  • Module 1: Illness, economics and the financing of health care
  • Module 2: Justice and Efficiency
  • Module 3: Uncertainty and health insurance
  • Module 4: Putting theory into practice: some elements of a health purchasing organisation
Target Group

Public health professionals, Social protection sector professionals, policy makers, private companies and relevant public administrations, project planners and coordinators, postgraduate students, independent of the geographical origin.


This course is held in English. Fluency in English (Reading, Speaking and Writing) is required.

Teaching and Assessment

The course is offered as a self E-learning course, providing a flexibility to the students to enter and complete the modules at their convenience.  It uses a mixture of provision of content in lecture modus, case studies on a practical implication of the concepts, self-test questions, case studies. Two electronic platforms for organizational questions and technical questions give at any time the opportunity for direct contact to the main tutor of the course and technical experts, who are ready to answer questions and give additional input in case of need.  The course is with 90 h students investment time, incl. modules completion, reading materials, discussions on the online platform, possible chats with tutors or experts. 

Participants’ learning will be assessed on:

  • Full completion of the modules and assignments within the modules (60%)
  • Active participation in technical discussions on the platform of the course (10%)
  • Final test (30%)
Course Expert

Our course content development expert:

Prof. Konrad Obermann MD, PhD is a physician and economist with more than 20 years of national and international professional experience in international health economics, health system development and social security. In the field of social security he has sound theoretical and practical experience in the areas of universal health care, social health care, old-age provision, micro-insurance, social support and social policy. He has more than 15 years of professional experience in international cooperation outside Europe. Through his training experience and teaching activities he is specialized in the development of innovative/internet-based curricula in national and international contexts with a special focus on teaching health economics, health financing, and social security to different settings and target groups.  He is the author of peer-reviewed, scientific publications and books in these fields.


General Admission

€ 600