Course Title: Australian Health Care System and Introduction to Mental Health

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Australian Health Care System and Introduction to Mental Health

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


150H Health Sciences


Sem 2 2013


Bundoora Campus


150H Health Sciences


Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016


Bundoora Campus


173H School of Health and Biomed


Sem 2 2017

Course Coordinator: Imogen Rehm

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7341

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 201.03.006

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course will provide you with an overview of the health care system in Australia and how it compares to major health care systems around the world. It will also provide an introduction to mental illness in Australia. You will be able to differentiate primary, secondary and tertiary health care levels and the role and responsibility of the States and Commonwealth in the funding and provision of those facilities. The role of the private and public sector in the provision of health care will be considered, as well as the contribution of the private sector to the overall national health care strategy. Key symptoms of the most frequent psychological disorders will be identified and the procedures and protocols which govern appropriate referrals to mental health professionals will be introduced and discussed. You will also develop fundamental effective communication skills central to professionals who work with clients. The governance and provision of health care in a changing context will provide a fertile environment to discuss the provision of health care into the future.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to following Program Learning Outcomes for  BP278 Bachelor of Health Science/Bachelor of Applied Science (Chinese Medicine) and BP279 Bachelor of Health Science/Bachelor of Applied Science (Osteopathy):

  • PLO1: provide specialist health care within a patient centred, evidence based framework.
  • PLO3: practice as a competent health care professional in a safe ethical and legally responsible manner
  • PLO6: work independently and in teams, specifically to lead and contribute to inter-professional partnerships.

At the completion of this course you will be able to:

  • CLO 1: Describe key features of various health care systems from around the world
  • CLO 2: Discuss public versus private systems, decentralized health care, national contribution (Medicare) and the roles of various health professions including: Medicine, Nursing, Complementary Medicine and Mental Health.
  • CLO 3: Define the concept of mental illness in the context of Australian society.
  • CLO 4: Identify the symptoms and explain the principles of appropriate intervention for a range of common psychological disorders including mood and anxiety disorders, substance use disorders, eating disorders, sexual abuse and schizophrenia.
  • CLO 5: Evaluate how attitudes, values, and cultural beliefs influence interpersonal communication.
  • CLO 6: Demonstrate a beginning level of interviewing skills

Overview of Learning Activities

This online course is based on supporting material located on RMIT Learning Management System.  Students are required to read a set of materials per week and acquire a working knowledge of the essential aspects of the Australian Health Care System.  Their reading is guided by a set of learning objectives and is structures do that students can explore the most interesting and the most relevant aspects to their future profession.  Finally, they are provided with an opportunity to apply this knowledge to their future profession.  The use of online facilitates including links to web material and access to the course discussion board to develop a deeper understanding is encouraged.  Assessment tasks are varied and students are encouraged to explore innovative ways to present relevant material.  


Overview of Learning Resources

Video lecture and on-line material: The lectures and reading material are intended to be supported by the additional resources in this course through online systems.  Additional resources do not substitute for wider reading but provide an opportunity to focus on specific details, complex areas and life examples.


Overview of Assessment

This course has no hurdle requirements.

Assessment Tasks

Early Assessment Task:  Written assignment

Weighting 25%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 4 & 5

Assessment Task 2: Weekly multiple choice tests

Weighting 35%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6

Assessment Task 3: Two Projects

Weighting 40% (each project 20%)

This assessment task supports CLOs 2, 3, 4 & 5