School of Public Health and Community Medicine

Image Health Systems Banner

Health Systems and Services

Our research aims to enhance the design, organisation and delivery of health services and health systems. Our researchers are currently engaged in projects to improve quality & safety, governance and reform, financing and economic evaluation of health services from primary care to tertiary care in Australia and overseas.

We are committed to research that strengthens health system capacities for reducing the disease burden within Australia and globally by enhancing the quality of health systems and service from within.

Coming from a diverse set of complementary disciplinary backgrounds, we use translational research to impact on healthcare practices and outcomes.  

Our team includes clinicians, clinical epidemiologists, psychologists, health economists and health service researchers who work collaboratively with health services, government, industry and consumer groups across Australia and internationally.

Our team focuses on:

  • Health leadership and organizational change.
  • Professional education, learning and workforce development.
  • Workforce productivity, psychological health and wellbeing.
  • Quality and safety in health care delivery.
  • Health systems governance and reform.
  • Health systems modelling and improvement.

The team have many recent collective and individual achievements evidenced in grant success, publications and impact in practice.

School Staff


 

Dr Augustine Asante
Senior Lecturer

Dr Augustine Asante has broad research interests in the fields of healthcare financing and economics, health systems strengthening and health services management. His current research activities are concentrated on human resources for health development in low and middle income countries. He has been particularly interested in assessing the capacity for health and human resource management and leadership at the district level.

 

Augustine Asante

 

Associate Professor Chinthaka Balasooriya
Director of Education

A/Professor Balasooriya is a nationally recognised expert in Medical Education. He has received a range of university and national level awards in educational excellence. Chinthaka leads a range of research projects in medical education, based within the UNSW Medicine program and within clinical training programs.  Chinthaka has 15 years of experience designing and implementing the UNSW Medicine program.

 

Chinthaka Balasooriya

 

Dr Reema Harrison
Senior Lecturer & Director Health Management

Dr Harrison is an Applied Health Psychologist with research interests in the quality and safety of healthcare. Her research focuses on the experiences of health professionals and patients in relation to adverse events. Dr Harrison is interested in supervising projects relating to psychological health, healthcare worker well-being, adverse events in healthcare, patient experience or health service delivery and quality of care issues.

 

Reema Harrison

Associate Professor Ben Harris-Roxas
Associate Professor, CPHCE

Research interests include health service planning, health equity, health impact assessment, and evaluation.

 

Image Ben Harris-Roxas

 

Associate Professor David Heslop
Associate Professor

A/Prof Heslop is a Primary Care clinical and Occupational and Environmental Medicine practitioner with research interests in resilient health care systems, particularly in the fields of health protection, emergency health response, and high risk/austere health care environments. His research focuses on using computational modelling and simulation to answer clinical systems questions in high risk/novel clinical environments.

 

David Heslop

 

Associate Professor Rohan Jayasuriya
Associate Professor

Global Health (health systems strengthening; Human Resources for Health, health information systems development and Program Evaluation) Organizational behaviour in technology adoption; Psycho-social factors in Chronic disease (Diabetes, Hepatitis C, Osteo-arthritis, Chronic Heart failure) and in ageing (stroke rehabilitation); Social epidemiology and health inequity.

 

Image - Rohan Jayasuriya

 

Ebony Lewis
Associate Lecturer 

Ebony Lewis has come from a background of Emergency nursing with a passion for improving the end-of-life experience for older people with advanced chronic illness. She has extensive experience in geriatrics assessment and gerontology research. Ebony is currently contributing to projects on prognostic preferences in hospitals, identification of elders at risk in in residential aged care, and optimising Advance Care Planning in general practice.

 

image - Ebony Lewis

 

Professor Mary-Louise McLaws
Professor of Infectious Diseases, Epidemiology, Public Health and Health Services

Prof McLaws' research areas include: infection prevention and control, clinical improvement and safety and evidence based practice. She supervises projects broadly relating to: Infection prevention and control; Antibiotic resistance and prescribing; Surveillance of healthcare associated infections; Hand hygiene – behaviour and surveillance; Patient safety – related to infection prevention such as development and evaluation of care bundles and pathways to reduce infection.

 

Mary-Louise McLaws

 

Dr Lois Meyer
Senior Research Fellow, Postgraduate Learning and Teaching, Associate Dean Education

Lois undertakes strategic curriculum development and instructional design across the postgraduate programs.  Lois has a strong research interest in tracing the learning and career trajectories of the School's students and the implications of their postgraduate studies for strengthening capacity in health organisations. Her background is in health professional educational and workplace learning with an emphasis on Human Resource Development and workforce capacity. Her areas of principal research interests are in curriculum design, professional education and workplace learning. 

 

Lois Meyer

 

Associate Professor Anthony Newell
Associate Professor in Health Economics

A/Prof Anthony Newall's main research area is the economic evaluation of infectious disease prevention strategies, as well as the mathematical modelling and statistical analyses that inform these evaluations. He has over 60 peer-reviewed publications on a range of vaccine preventable diseases, including the epidemiology and cost-effectiveness of prevention strategies for influenza (seasonal and pandemic), pneumococcal disease, rotavirus, and human papillomavirus. 

 

Image - Anthony Newall

 

Dr Maha Pervaz Iqbal
Associate Lecturer in Primary Care

Dr Maha Pervaz Iqbal's specific research interests are student learning, educational design research with an interest in developing educational innovations in teaching and learning. As part of her Doctoral research she has developed an educational intervention to promote the key collaborative learning competencies in medical students.

 

Image - Maha Pervaz Eqbal

 

Dr Holly Seale
Senior Lecturer, Infectious Diseases, Public Health and Health Services, Preventive Medicine, Epidemiology

Dr Seale has conducted behavioural research regarding infectious diseases and infection control. Recently, her work has focused on healthcare professional’s perceptions and behaviours regarding infectious diseases, particularly VPDs and examining new strategies for infection control using pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical measures. Her published studies have concerned communicable disease surveillance, social research, clinical trial outcomes, risk communication, immunisation coverage in at-risk groups, and the evaluation of education tools using qualitative and quantitative methods.

 

image - Holly Seale

 

Dr Anurag Sharma
Senior Lecturer Health Economics & Co-Director Public Health Programs

Dr Sharma is an applied Health Economist whose research involves rigorous applied methods using large and complex datasets. His recent research has focused on health system performance especially the hospital sector in Australia where he has investigated policy relevant issues such as reducing ED overcrowding, modeling hospital choice for elective surgery patients, and hospital behavior under activity based funding. Dr Sharma has also led a ARC Discovery grant on impact of health promotion policies such as taxing soft drinks to reduce obesity.  Dr Sharma has also been involved in projects focusing on public health issues in low-income settings such as Nepal, Mongolia and India. 

 

Anurag Sharma

 

Professor Richard Taylor
Professor International Public Health

Richard Taylor is involved in several international research studies, including mortality and cause of death, and control of NCD in Pacific Island Countries, and in several national research studies, including Indigenous mortality assessment.

 

image - Richard Taylor

 

Conjoints & Adjuncts of the School


  • Stan Goldstein
  • Andrew Knight
  • Huong Le Dao
  • George Rubin
  • Michael Tam
  • Sarah Thackway
  • Peter Smerdely
  • Kerry Warner
  • Hao Zheng

 

Chimaera Evolution - computational modeling of complex emergencies and disasters

 
image - Chimaera Evolution

Health security and protection has become increasingly uncertain in recent years. The assumptions that underpin preparedness and response decision are likely no longer valid. We are working to understand how to better plan, prepare for and respond to complex emergencies and disasters in this changing world.

UNSW’s School of Public Health and Community Medicine has been working with Australia’s Defence Science and Technology Group to develop novel computational modelling and simulation approaches to understand and challenge key planning assumptions, explore the nature of various disaster scenarios in the contemporaneous social and health context, and to help optimise policy.

The study, led by Associate Professor David Heslop aims to develop computational modeling and simulation approaches using complexity theory, hybrid (agent based coupled with other forms) modeling and simulation, and multidisciplinary approaches to parametrisation, to understanding how disasters and emergencies unfold and how current and proposed policy influence positive and negative public health outcomes.

See Project Details


Health Systems teaching is represented through the following Programs:

Specialisation

Students within the Master of Public Health and those undertaking a dual Masters of Public Health/Masters of Health Management can also graduate with a specialisation in Health Economic Evaluation. The specialisation is for students seeking skills in health economic evaluations and those wanting a career in health economics, and provides students with knowledge and skills in the principles of the economic evaluation of healthcare programs.  These are important tools to help decision makers obtain value for money in healthcare spending choices.

Courses

We have a range of course options that can be taken within our Masters Programs or as standalone courses with a Health Systems focus including: