Economics of Healthcare

Health economics is a specific branch within economics concerned with the efficient allocation of scarce resources with respect to health and healthcare. Health economics is a growing field which all professionals in healthcare will be confronted with.

In this course, students will get to know more about the discipline, relevance and application of advanced health economics. Students will look at innovations from an economic perspective. And they will deal with theoretical as well as empirical developments.

The course consists of three parts:

  • In the first part, the students will get acquainted with the economic approach of healthcare and economic approaches of innovations and entrepreneurship.
  • In the second part, the students will apply the aforementioned knowledge and insights to different types of innovations, including product innovations (i.e. drugs) and organisational innovations. 
  • in the third part, the students will take a closer look at health economic evaluations and the involvement of patients in healthcare decision-making.

Language of instruction

Language of instruction is English

“Over the last decade, achieving an efficient allocation of scarce resources (such as budgets, time, money, personnel, rooms, beds) with respect to health and healthcare has become imperative. Health economics is a specific branch within economics that among others includes Health Technology Assessment, which is aimed at economic evaluations of healthcare technologies (e.g. cost-effectiveness analyses). Economic evaluations are key as they enhance the possibilities of achieving an efficient allocation of these scarce resources.”​

Mickael Hiligsmann, PhD, course coordinator


Participants in this course are healthcare managers, consultants, medical doctors and graduates from universities and universities of applied sciences who wish to enhance their knowledge about economics of healthcare and particularly health technology assessment.


This course aims to provide the students with the knowledge and skills that are required to study and analyse new developments from the perspective of health economics. At the end of the course, students must be able to meet the following end terms:

Knowledge and understanding
The student:
1. has knowledge of the most recent approaches within health economics, including health technology assessment, economic organization theory and institutional economic approaches;
2. has knowledge of the economic approach of healthcare in order to understand the costs, benefits, and success and failure of innovations in healthcare.

Applying knowledge and understanding
The student:
3. is able to analyse (issues related to) healthcare innovations, by applying knowledge of the most recent approaches within health economics;
4. can relate the health economics knowledge presented in this course to identical or comparable problems, cases or types of innovations presented in other master courses.

Making judgments
The student:
5. has a scientific – positive and critical – attitude;
6. can describe and make judgments about health economics and critically assess recent approaches within health economics;
7. can make judgments of (actual) problems and themes with respect to care innovations based on economic arguments.

The student:
8. can communicate effectively about the knowledge and insights offered in this master course in writing and orally.

Learning skills
The student has the skills to:
9. gather relevant information on actual cases regarding care innovation;
10. analyse actual cases regarding healthcare innovation from a health economic point of view;
11. work in a collaborative setting.

Teaching methods

Problem-Based Learning, team assignments, formal lectures, interactive lectures, tutorial group meetings, trainings. Examination consists of an individual test and assessment of teamwork.

Teaching staff

The teaching staff of the course consists of experts on health economics and economic evaluation from Maastricht University.


Upon completion of the course, you can ask the FHML Exams office for a list of grades and a certificate.

Admission requirements

  • Bachelor’s or master’s degree or an equivalent
  • Sufficient English skills


Sign up by filling in one of the forms below:
 Application form for non-degree seeking students -  Master
 Aanmeldingsformulier contractonderwijs AIOS

Course/module code

Application deadline 
8 July 2019

Course fee

€ 1.680,- for the academic year 2019-2020 (with reservation)

    Start: 2 September 2019

    End: 25 October 2019



    Locations for the classes are at Maastricht University / Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences.

    More information

    Mickael Hiligsmann, PhD (course coordinator)
    Department of Health Services Research
    Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences
    Maastricht University
    Location: Duboisdomein 30, room 0.019

    Phone: + 31 43 38 82 219
    Email: m.hiligsmann@maastrichtuniversity.n