Introduction to Health Systems

Registrations Closed

IIHS’ latest online course, Introduction to Health Systems, is designed to  provide an overview of health systems, its different components, and the major actors engaged in policy making, implementation and delivery of health care. Given the complexity of the health sector in India, and the diversity of the country, it is important to develop a holistic understanding of the health systems and how they function.

The course will specifically help participants to foreground contemporary issues in the sector, from national and international contexts, including a transition towards the Sustainable Development Goals, the emerging approach of ‘Health in All’ policies, and its implementation.


It is suited for

  • Young researchers working in academia or in the social sector and/ or community based organisations
  • Masters/ PhD scholars interested in health systems/ health systems policy research
  • Policymakers/ Administrators who are new to the health sector and those who work in overlapping areas of health (water and sanitation/ public health engineering/ health financing)


Learning Objectives

  • Apply systems thinking to understand health systems
  • Explore the workings of health systems in India
  • Examine recent policy changes in health systems
  • Understand the concepts of universal health coverage
  • Analyse health in connection to other systems/ sectors

Aruna Bhattacharya

Aruna leads work on urban health, health systems policy research, and health impacts of climate change in vulnerable and marginalised settings at the IIHS School of Human Development. She is trained in medical anthropology, and holds a PhD in anthropology from the University of Delhi. She has been working in the health systems policy research space from the vantage of implementation of national health programmes in marginalised settings, since 1998.


Aruna has taught public health and carried out several research studies at the intersection of public health and health systems policy research as Principal Investigator (PI) and co-PI with national and international funding, as Associate Professor, Indian Institute of Public Health-Delhi, Public Health Foundation.


She was part of the Government of India’s Common Review Missions for National Rural Health Mission/National Health Mission (NRHM/NHM). She is an active member of the Health Systems Global (HSG) SHAPES consortium. She is trained in ‘Ethics in public health research’ at the Harvard School of Public Health. She is a recipient of the Australia Leadership Award Fellowship (ALAF) for public health practice in HIV/STI. She has long-standing collaborations with the Harvard School of Public Health, Sydney University, and the University College of London among others, for research and capacity building in public health.

Programme Structure

  • Four days online course
  • Delivered through a combination of lectures and discussions, case studies and hands-on activities
  • High degree of application orientation and peer learning


Key Differentiators

















Friday, 17 November 2023
14:30 – 15:30Systems Thinking
16:00 – 17:30Systems Thinking
Case study and Group discussion
Saturday, 18 November 2023
10:00 – 11:30Health Systems and Medical Systems
12.00 – 1:30Concept of Primary Health – Evolution and Pathways of Change
14:30 – 15:30Sustainable Development Goals and Health Systems
16:00 – 17:30Sustainable Development Goals and Health Systems
Case study and Group discussion
Friday, 24 November 2023
14:30 – 15:30Universal Health Coverage
16:00 – 17:30Universal Health Coverage
Case study and Group discussion
Saturday, 25 November 2023
10:00 – 11:30Health for All – Policies from LMICs (Part 1)
Case studies
12.00 – 1:30Health for All – Policies from LMICs (Part 2)
Case studies
14:30 – 15:30Health Systems Functioning
16:00 – 17:30Q&A,

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