Assesment of Knowledge of Health Economics Among Medical Professionals: A Study in Jimma University Medical School, Ethiopia
Education in Medicine Journal, Volume 5, Issue 2, 2013
6 Pages Posted: 17 Dec 2013
Date Written: July 1, 2012
Introduction: Health is a fundamental human right and integral to human-well being. Health 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 and knowledge of health economics among health professionals are limited.
Objective: To assess the extent of knowledge and awareness on health economics and economic evaluation techniques among medical doctors, Ethiopia.
Methods: Qualitative exploratory study. Information collected through in depth-interviews with randomly selected 25 medical doctors from different clinical departments, 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. All respondents believed that health economics should be included in medical curriculum 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.
Keywords: Health economics, Medical curriculum, Developing countries
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