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Health Administration (HADM) 339

Organization of the Canadian Health Care System (Revision 3)

HADM 339 course cover

Delivery Mode: Individualized study or grouped study

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Applied Studies
(Business and Administrative Studies)

Prerequisite: None

Precluded course: HADM 339 is a cross-listed course—a course listed under 2 different disciplines—HSRV 339. (HADM 339 cannot be taken for credit if credit has already been obtained for HSRV 339)

Centre: Centre for State and Legal Studies

HADM 339 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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As Canadians, we all know something about the Canadian health care system. We gain much of our knowledge through personal experience, using a number of health care services through our lifetimes. It is also unlikely that our friends and family members have entirely escaped the need for health care. Knowledge can also be gained by working in the health care system, or by studying various health-related topics. Finally, most of us have read or heard media reports on development in the Canadian health care system.

It is important, then, to start this course with some reassurance about our own knowledge of the Canadian health care system. At the same time, we must recognize that our knowledge may be limited to what we have experienced, observed, or heard. This course is designed to build on students' current understanding of the Canadian health care system, through discussions of how the system came about, what it consists of now, and how it is changing.


HADM 339 is divided into nine units:

Unit 1: The History of the Canadian Health Care System

Unit 2: The Components of the Canadian Health Care System

Unit 3: Who Uses the Health Care System? (Part 1)

Unit 4: Who Uses the Health Care System? (Part 2)

Unit 5: Illness Prevention and Health Promotion

Unit 6: Who Provides Health Care?

Unit 7: Health Care Controls and Safeguards

Unit 8: Health Care Costs and Financing

Unit 9: The Canadian Health Care System: Challenges and Threats


To receive credit for HADM 339, you must achieve a course composite grade of at least “D” (50 percent), and a mark of at least 50 percent on the essay assignment and the final examination. The weighting of the course assignments is as follows:

Tutor-marked Exercise 1 (after Unit 2) 15%
Tutor-marked Exercise 2 (after Unit 8) 15%
Essay Assignment (after Unit 7) 30%
Final Examination (after Unit 9) 40%
Total 100%

The final examination for this course must be taken online with an AU-approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators who can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Bolaria, B., & Dickinson, H. (Eds.). (2002). Health, illness and health care in Canada (3d ed.). Scarborough, ON: Nelson Thompson Learning.

Canadian Institute for Health Information. (2001). Health care in Canada: A first annual report. Ottawa: Author.

Canadian Institute for Health Information. (2001). Canada's health care providers. Ottawa: Author.

Other Materials

The course materials include a study guide, student manual, and a reading file.

Challenge for Credit Course Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows students to demonstrate that they have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university level course.

Full information for the Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the HADM 339 challenge registration, you must achieve a grade of at least "C-" (60 per cent) on the examination.

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 3, July 2005.

View previous syllabus

Last updated by SAS  07/07/2014 16:42:09