GLOBAL HEALTH POLICY AND ISSUES
2018/2019, Semester 2
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (Lee Kuan Yew School Of Public Policy)
Modular Credits: 4
The changing social, economic, technological and political conditions across the diverse countries and populations of Asia, and the world mean that there is a need for policy professionals to have an overview of global health policies and associated issues. To do that, this module examines the roles and relationships among major players at the global level, and different approaches taken by various international organizations and national governments in tackling health and related problems in the context of the post-2015, post-MDG development agenda. The module will also compare and contrast global health policies with international policy instruments in other areas related to health. The module will examine global health trends and issues using a macro policy framework. Significant challenges in the organization of global health programmes and the complexities involved in international cooperation and the implementation of international policy instruments will be analysed through selected case-studies. Topics on current issues will include: role of international health organizations, international aid and development assistance, emerging epidemics and disasters, non-communicable diseases (including tobacco use), health impacts of climate change, cross-border health issues (e.g. food security), migration of health human resources (brain drain), international trade in health services, global health diplomacy, international health law and the future of global health.
PP5266 Global Health Policy and Issues
AY 2018/2019 Semester 2
Prof Tikki Pang
As the world undergoes rapid transition in social, political, economic, environmental and technological developments, population dynamics such as migration and ageing, together with emerging diseases, epidemiological trends and climate change, would have great impact in the health sector. Global health policy issues are increasingly becoming more important as governments, civil society, private organizations, the private sector and international bodies like the World Health Organization respond to these challenges.
The module is a study of the management of the global health enterprise through an analysis of governance frameworks and instruments within which public policy responses to health problems occur. Nearly all current health problems are trans-national and multi-sectoral in nature and requires a coherent and coordinated response involving diverse actors from many different sectors. As health is central to sustainable development more generally, it acts as a vanguard or ‘probe’ to international governance processes in other areas. Major topics to be covered include the global health system, global health instruments and initiatives, international organizations, and health diplomacy. The module is not designed as a theoretical dissection of principles and concepts but will emphasize in- depth analysis of real case-studies of global health governance around major health challenges which can be selected based on a students’ own interests.
Knowledge of contemporary global health issues, the public policy responses to such issues, global health instruments and the diverse governance frameworks within which these responses occur (key players and stakeholders);
Ability to critically analyse, evaluate, compare and connect various governance scenarios;
Ability to extrapolate and extend key global health governance principles to governance matters in other areas.
Equip Asia’s future policy-makers and leaders with the knowledge to improve the standards of governance through an in-depth understanding of governance processes.
Students should meet one or more of the following requirements:
Relevant academic and/or work experience, future career plans or
in the health sector
Enrolled in a current study program with related and relevant interests in health and social policy and/or global governance issues more broadly
: It is
necessary for students to have an academic background/training in medicine/health/life sciences as the module will not assume previous knowledge in these areas.
Topic 1: Global health challenges
Definition of global health
Global health trends, challenges and issues: including AMR (antimicrobial resistance), Zika, Ebola and MERS-CoV outbreaks, non-communicable diseases (NCDs), universal health care (UHC), malnutrition
-Globalisation and health: climate change, human movements, trade liberalisation, etc.
Topic 2: The global policy challenge
Global health, public policy and governance
Frameworks and compacts for global action (Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs)
Architecture of the global health system
Global and national health policies
A revolution in health information: the Global Burden of Disease project
Topic 3: Major players in global health
International organizations: World Health Organization, UN agencies and NGOs
International aid and development assistance: bilateral and multilateral aid programs, philanthropies
Health in foreign policy: international action & cooperation
Topic 4: Global health policy instruments (1)
Typology of global health instruments (‘hard’ and ‘soft’ instruments)
International Health Regulations (IHR)
Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC)
Topic 5: Global health policy instruments (2)
Food safety-Codex Alimentarius
Guidelines and best practices
Codes of conduct & practice (e.g. migration of health workers, ethics)
Topic 6: Global health policy instruments (3)
Global health research governance, the global health industry and access to medicines (TRIPS/WTO), global funding for health research
Global Observatory on Health R&D
International clinical trial registration
Universal health coverage
Topic 7: Universe of public policies related to health
Policy instruments in other, related sectors (e.g. trade, environment)
Common characteristics of international policy instruments
Topic 8: Future of global health
Projections of future health scenarios and policy options for health sector development
Impact of climate change
Future scenarios for global health governance
-The Singapore experience: highlighting Singapore’s innovations in policies to deal with
communicable and non-communicable diseases
Grading & Evaluation
The evaluation approach is to continuously assess students on various dimensions of comprehension, connection, communication and contribution. It may include short reflection essays, presentations and contributions to classroom discussions. The final allocation/weighting of various components will be decided during Week 2 and is dependent on the final number of students enrolled, and their academic backgrounds and work experiences (if any).
M. Merson, R. Black, A.J. Mills. Global Health, 4th edition, Jones & Bartlett, 2020.
Smith, Jeremy. Epic Measures-One Doctor, Seven Billion Patients. Harper Collins, New York, 2015.
Buse K, Hein W, Drager N (eds). Making sense of global health governance: A policy perspective. Palgrave Macmillan, 392pp, 2009.
Cooper AF, Kirton JJ (eds). Innovation in global health governance: Critical cases. Ashgate Publishing, 422pp, 2009.
Benatar, S and Brock, G. Global Health and Global Health Ethics, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2011.
Crisp, N. Turning the World Upside Down-The search for global health in the 21st century. Hodder Education, 2010, 240pp.
Gostin L, Friedman EA. 2017. Global health: A pivotal moment of opportunity and peril. Health Affairs 36(1): 159-165. doi:10.1377/hlthaff.2016.1492.
Clinton C, Sridhar D. 2017. Who pays for cooperation in global health? A comparative analysis of WHO, the World Bank, the Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. Lancet 390: 324-332. doi: 10.1016/S0140- 6736(16)32402-3.
Maurice J. 2015. UN set to change the world with new development goals. Lancet 386: 1121-1124. doi:
Gostin LO, Sridhar D. 2014. Global health and the law. The New England Journal of Medicine 370: 1732-1740: doi:
Frenk J, Moon S. 2013. Governance challenges in global health. The New England Journal of Medicine 368: 936-942. doi:10.1056/NEJMra1109339
Fidler D. 2007. Architecture amidst anarchy: global health’s quest for governance. Global Health Governance 1(1).
Koplan J et al. 2009. Towards a common definition of global health. Lancet 373: 1993-1995. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(09)60332-9.
Lee, K. The World Health Organization, Routledge, London, 157pp,2009.
Frenk J. 2010. The global health system: strengthening national health systems as the next step for global progress. PLoS Med 7(1):e1000089.
Additional readings may be provided during the course.