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Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

HLTH 4021: Health Policy

This course covers concepts, policy analysis processes, and outcomes of public policymaking and health policymaking. Students use foundational knowledge on public policy analysis and apply this knowledge to Canadian health policy issues. Students will use knowledge of health policy and determine how this knowledge of policy analysis might apply in their health care workplace. Students develop their critical thinking, literature search, and critiquing skills, and knowledge of Canada's evolving health care system in response to economic, cultural, technological, political, ideological, and global factors and forces. Student will experience the whole public policy process as they apply the foundational knowledge on public policymaking to a current major health policy issue in their province or territory. Students will participate in a simulated policy community as they apply their policy analysis knowledge to a major current health care policy issue in Canada.

Learning outcomes

  • Appreciate what health policy is and is not. You will consider the role of policy in everyday health and community practice (for instance, regulations, guidelines, formal and informal policies and procedures).
  • Uncover health policy development process (how a policy began, how it is used, how it is enforced, and the role of legislation in health policy).
  • Understand health policy processes in both private and public sector settings of the health care system from the perspective of various stakeholders.
  • Analyse a policy for implementation in health and community practice. Incorporate policy influence skills in practical health and community practice activities.
  • Appreciate the strengths and limitations of policy for your own practice and for the advocacy for others.
  • Demonstrate a sound knowledge of health policy processes in Canadian and global contexts. This will include problem definition, policy instruments and design, policy implementation, and policy/program evaluation.
  • Discuss the historical, economic, cultural, political, legal, technological, and globalization influences on public policy-making.
  • Examine the experience of policy within health-related workplaces from the perspective of various stakeholders.
  • Apply policy analysis theory to examine current health care policy issues and policies in place in local, national and global settings.
  • Locate and use relevant and current resources from various perspectives when discussing health care policy issues.
  • Use critical thinking skills to analyze health policies from academic, professional practice and community perspectives.
  • Use appropriate media to communicate policy advocacy to professional practice, community members and decision makers.

Course topics

Module 1: Introduction: Health Policy Issues and Approaches

Module 2: Policy Process in Context

Module 3: Influencing Health Policy

Module 4: The Future of Health Policy and Policy Change

Required text and materials

The following material is required for the course:

  1. Bryant, T. (2016). Health Policy in Canada. (2nd ed.) Toronto: Canadian Scholars' Press.
    Type: Textbook. ISBN: 978-1-55130-924-8


To successfully complete this course, students must achieve a passing grade of 50% or higher on the overall course and 50% or higher on the mandatory Final Project.

Assignment 1 15%
Online Discussion 1 10%
Assignment 2 15%
Online Discussion 2 10%
Assignment 3 15%
Online Discussion 3 10%
Final Project (mandatory) 25%
Total 100%

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Students will receive the necessary contact information at the start of the course.

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