Relevance of Health economics in Medical Curriculum: A study in Jimma University Medical school, Ethiopia.

Original Article

Abstract

Background: Health is a fundamental human right and integral to human-well being .Health, health care and economy of a nation is always interrelated. Health economics is the sub-discipline of economics dealing with the issues of scarcity of resources, opportunity cost, prioritization and choice in health sector. Even though this field of specialization is gaining its importance all over the world, not included in the medical curriculum of many developing countries including Ethiopia.

Objective: to assess the extent of knowledge and awareness on health economics and economic evaluation techniques among medical doctors, Ethiopia

Methods: qualitative explorative study. Information collected through interviews with randomly selected 25 medical professionals from Jimma University specialized hospital.

Results: out of 25 respondents nobody has any academic exposure on health economics and related concepts at undergraduate/ postgraduate level. Medical professionals who are holding administrative positions also never got the chance of getting trained in this field.  28% of the respondents heard about economic evaluation techniques and 88% of them believe that application of health economic techniques will improve the performance of health care delivery system of Ethiopia.

Conclusion; Medical curriculum should be updated according to the need and health economics should be included. Health professionals and policy makers must familiarize the ways to allocate valuable resources in an effective manner. Medical educators must therefore adapt their curricula to teach future physicians the skills for practicing medicine in an evolving health care environment especially in the context of poor resource settings.

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About the Author

Devi Nair
Department of Health Planning and Management, College of Public Health and Medical Sciences, Jimma university, Ethiopia 
Ethiopia

Kora Tushune
ssosiate Professor, Health Policy and Economics, Department of Health Planning and Management, College of Public Health and Medical Sciences, Jimma university, Ethiopia. 
Ethiopia

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