Professor Barbara McPake
Professor Barbara McPake is a health economist who believes in an interdisciplinary approaches to health systems research. She has been involved in health systems research since the 1980s and prior to joining the University of Melbourne, worked across three British universities: University College Swansea, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh.
Barbara’s research focuses on the application of economic theories and methods to the understanding of issues in health system strengthening in low and middle-income countries. Her work has focused on health financing, contracts within public health systems, health workforce, hospital reform and the health system issues of conflict affected states. She is currently focused on the economic, demographic and epidemiological transitions undergone by middle income countries, and how health systems respond to questions of emerging infectious diseases exacerbated by economic transition, rising income and wealth inequalities, and epidemics of chronic disease. Barbara is exploring the issues for health systems of transition in the Asia-Pacific region.
We are putting health systems center stage. Our work on health systems will be grounded in a commitment to build primary and community-based health systems accessible to all. Professor Barbara McPake
Barbara has made significant contributions to training several generations of health system leaders across the world especially in health economics, through post-graduate training and PhD supervision.
She has made recognisable contributions to the health policy and systems research discipline such as some of the earliest work on user fees and affordability and the application of new public management ideas in African and Asian contexts. Barbara co-authored Health Economics: An International Perspective, now in its 4th edition. This is the only textbook to provide a truly international, comparative treatment of health economics.
Barbara is Chair of the Board of Health Systems Global. She is frequently invited to serve on ‘expert committees’ and similar, of WHO and the World Bank. She is a Member of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's Indo-Pacific Centre for Health Security Technical Reference Group.
Read Barbara's regular pieces on Issues in Global Health