Career Options In Health Economics and Policy

James Lind Institute > Public Health > Career Options In Health Economics and Policy

Role of Health Economists

The main job of health economists is to reduce the amount of waste related to the resources. They optimize the efficiency of the healthcare systems by practical use and distribution of the resources. They apply various theories related to production, distribution, efficiency, disparities, regulation and competition to educate healthcare organizations on the most reasonable course of action. Health economists are trained to apply tools for the economic evaluation of healthcare markets, programs, interventions and public health policies both in the public and private sector. 

Health economists are required in all kinds of healthcare organizations. They find employment in hospitals, universities, health insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, federal agencies, consultancies and public health organizations, both local and international. Alternatively, they may become independent consultants who provide business advice to various healthcare organizations. The responsibilities of the health economist depend on the organization they work for. For instance, in public health, they evaluate principles for cost-effective public vaccination, assess the economic impact of epidemics, endorse funding for disease research and estimate the costs involved in cancer screenings. They help in making cost-effective decisions regarding public health. 

Requirements for Becoming a Health Economist

Having known the roles of a health economist, it is clear that the basic requirement to become one is a thorough knowledge of economics. They also need to possess complete knowledge of political science, health policies, international relations, biostatistics, epidemiology, public health and healthcare management. Mathematical and analytical skills are essential to assess complex economic situations and concepts. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for qualified health economists is growing higher than average as compared to other occupations due to increased demand for healthcare services and hence they are offered a pleasing pay. Thus it is, undoubtedly, one of the most promising career options in the field of healthcare management.

Role of Health Policy Makers

Health policymakers work towards the improvement of individual and public health through the enactment of specific goals or legislation. They conduct research, assess laws, identify challenges and evaluate the pros and cons of proposed initiatives. Their occupational functions include identifying current or forthcoming challenges to be ready to address them, collect and analyze statistical data needed for decision making, forecasting and anticipating socioeconomic and political trends that influence the integrity of healthcare industry, transferring knowledge through publications and guide healthcare organizations on decision making about policy law and procedures, all of which ultimately bring about positive changes in the healthcare sector through their decisions and actions. Health policy professionals can find employment like health insurance specialists, health policy associate, health legislative aide, senior policy managers, policy analysts, social scientist, political coordinator, political scientist or management associate in both public and private organizations. The most common one is the health policy analyst, who generates and reviews data, formulate ideas and implement solutions to the greatest challenges facing the industry. 

Requirements to Become a Health Policy Professional

An undergraduate degree in the fields of political science, economics, public policy, public health, government and related fields or healthcare management is needed to become a health policy professional. In-depth analytical skills are required to evaluate legislation, collect qualitative and quantitative data and prepare evidence-based reports to be presented to the external and internal stakeholders. Nonetheless, the requirements to become a health policy professional depends on the employer and the prior work experience.  

Online course in Health Economics and Policy at James Lind Institute

James Lind Institute, Switzerland is introducing a globally accredited dual master’s degree program – Master of Science in Public Health Management (MPH) – Health Economics and Policy, in collaboration with International Telematic University, UNINETTUNO, Italy. This is an online course with a duration of 1.5 years. This industry-specific training fine-tunes your skills to match the needs of the ever-growing market and help you find opportunities in various public and private healthcare organizations. The eligibility criterion to register in this course is a bachelor’s degree or equivalent in any health or life science discipline. Knowledge in economics is desirable, but not mandatory. This course acquaints you with advanced skills in critical analysis, understanding of global health policies and micro and macro-economic factors that affect health policies.

For more details on this program like course structure, tuition fee, mode of assessment, careers and outcomes please visit our official website www.jliedu.ch

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