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,
Sem 2 2018

Course Coordinator: Dr Wendell Cockshaw

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7067

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 201.03.14D

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.

On successful completion of this course you will be able to:

  1. Describe key features of various health care systems from around the world
  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.
  3. Define the concept of mental illness in the context of Australian society.
  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.
  5. Evaluate how attitudes, values, and cultural beliefs influence interpersonal communication.
  6. Demonstrate a beginning level of interviewing skills

Overview of Learning Activities

The course is offered online and includes lecture video recordings and other video-based learning content, learning exercises, and discussion forums. Revision quizzes are provided so that students can review and evaluate their progress and ability to adequately understand the material presented.   There is no prescribed textbook for this course. Readings will be drawn from a variety of journals, government reports and textbooks. You are required to undertake the recommended readings each week and acquire a working knowledge of the essential aspects of the Australian Health Care System and of common psychological disorders. Your reading is guided by a set of learning objectives and is structured so that you may explore aspects that are of interest and relevance to your specific health profession. Finally, you are provided with an opportunity to apply this knowledge to your future profession. You will be encouraged to use online facilities, including links to web material and access to the course discussion board, to develop a deeper understanding of the course material.

Teacher Guided Hours: 24

Learner Directed Hours: 96

Overview of Learning Resources

The learning resources associated with this course will include: lecture video recordings, other video-based learning content, online learning exercises, discussion forums, and targeted readings from primary and secondary resources that cover the essential areas of the Australian Health Care System and common psychological disorders. Additional resources may also be provided, and do not substitute for wider reading but provide an opportunity to focus on specific details, complex areas and life examples. Material may be available online via the course myRMIT Studies site or RMIT Library.


Overview of Assessment

This course has no hurdle requirements.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task 1:  Weekly multiple choice tests

Weighting 20%

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

Assessment Task 2: Written assignment

Weighting 40%

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

Assessment Task 3: Project

Weighting 40%

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