Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Organisational UnitDepartment of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine
OfferedAlfred Hospital First semester 2013 (Day)
Alfred Hospital Term 3 2013 (On-campus block of classes)
Coordinator(s)Dr C Morgan / Ms E Kennedy


This subject will provide an overview of the history, principles and practice of primary health care in developing countries, as well as the interaction between primary healthcare and current trends in global health and international development.


On completion of this unit students should be able to:

  1. Describe the principles and elements of primary health care;
  2. Explain how primary health care has evolved and the issues that have shaped its development;
  3. Outline important cross-cutting issues in PHC and the role of primary healthcare in health systems strengthening;
  4. Describe the importance, variety and roles of community health workers and peripheral service delivery in primary health care;
  5. Describe the strategies taken to maximise the likelihood of PHC succeeding as a health care system at community, district and country levels;
  6. Explain the role of global agencies; aid programs and other international health interventions in primary health care services;
  7. Outline the role of community knowledge, attitudes and practices and health care seeking behaviours in primary health care;
  8. Summarise important issues in the financing of primary health care;
  9. Demonstrate how PHC principles and practices may apply to current global health issues including control of communicable diseases (including HIV infection), urbanisation, ageing and chronic diseases.


Written task (3,00 - 4,000 words) 60%
Group presentation (20%), Individual reflection (1,000 words) on group work (20%)

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

6 x 4 weekday contact hours
1 x 7 weekend contact hour
5 day block


Basic computer proficiency

Additional information on this unit is available from the faculty at: