Teaching Health Policy at the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs: An Interdisciplinary Approach

AuthorNino Ghonghadze
Published date01 March 2015
Date01 March 2015
Teaching Health Policy at the Georgian Institute of
Public Affairs: An Interdisciplinary Approach
Nino Ghonghadze
This article gives a brief description of and ref‌lection on the establishment of a Health Policy
concentration at the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs. The growing interest of students toward
the concentration suggests that combining health policy and health management issues into one
course was a successful approach.
KEY WORDS: health policy, health administration, master’s degree
The Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA) is the f‌irst educational
institution in Georgia to offer students master degree programs in public
administration and public policy. The institute was established in 1994 as a joint
project of the Georgian Government and the U.S. National Academy of Public
Administration (NAPA), through funding from the U.S. Department of State.
The Master Degree Program in Public Policy offers fourth-semester students a
number of elective concentrations in areas such as economic policy and cultural
policy. In 2009, GIPA’s School of Government designed a new, health policy
concentration. This concentration consists of one intensive course involving
almost twice as much work for students as regular courses (60 in-class hours for
degree students and 80 in-class hours for non-degree students). The course is led
by two instructors with appropriate academic credentials who also hold high
positions at the Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs, and the National
Center for Disease Control and Public Health of Georgia.
Two approaches were considered when developing the concentration course.
One approach was that the two f‌ields, health policy and health management,
should be strictly separated and topics from both not be blended in the course.
The argument for this approach was that the health policy concentration should
be strictly analytical, designed for individuals who are interested in working as
analysts on health policy issues; to develop policy, formulate policy alternatives,
and provide recommendations on how to solve problems. Future jobs for such
students would be found in public agencies responsible for developing and
implementing health policy, and other organizations dealing with health policy
World Medical & Health Policy, Vol. 7, No. 1, 2015
1948-4682 #2015 Policy Studies Organization
Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc., 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148, USA, and 9600 Garsington Road, Oxford, OX4 2DQ.

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