Unsettling Healthcare is an initiative for critical social and political science enquiry on emergent trends in the global healthcare economy. Based at King’s College London and the University of Sussex, we aim to critically examine the changing profile of healthcare financing, provision and consumption. Partners include researchers, health activists and policy makers interested in promoting equity and inclusion in healthcare systems. Our research has received funding support from the UK ESRC, MRC, Wellcome Trust, DfID, Australian Aid, British Academy and Newton Fund.
Picture credit: KiloCharlieLima, via Wikimedia Commons

Lead contributors

Dr Benjamin Hunter is Lecturer in International Development at the University of Sussex. Taking an interdisciplinary approach to research, he examines the latest transformations unfolding in healthcare, its regulation and how people experience it. Ben studies global flows in knowledge, finance and people, and how these take shape in, and reshape, local contexts. He is currently completing a book entitled Investor States: Global Health at the End of Aid.

Professor Susan Fairley Murray is Emeritus Professor of Health, Society and Development at King’s College London. She is an interdisciplinary social scientist working at the interface of Sociology, Public Health and Development Studies. Her research examines how health systems can generate or prevent health and social goals. This has addressed questions related to poverty and access to healthcare, neoliberalisation and the commercialisation of healthcare, globalisation and the healthcare economy, the social organisation of healthcare, and maternal and reproductive health policy.

Professor Ramila Bisht is based at the Centre for Social Medicine & Community Health, Jawaharlal Nehru University. Her research interests centre around health policy and reforms in India, comparative health systems and policies, urbanization, environment and health and the gendered social and cultural determinants of women’s health. Most of her research has been in highland economies and in the states of Maharashtra and Delhi. Her research themes and their theoretical frameworks and methods have been located at the intersection of social sciences and social epidemiology with a focus on Marxist feminist studies.

Dr Volkan Yilmaz is Assistant Professor of Public Policy in the School of Law and Government Dublin City University. His research examines the politics of social policy reform, with particular interest in the healthcare sector and his book, The Politics of Healthcare Reform in Turkey, was published in 2017 by Palgrave Macmillan. Volkan was awarded a British Academy Newton Advanced Fellowship to conduct research on regulatory challenges in pluralistic healthcare systems.

Dr Yinhua Zhou is a research associate professor in the Center for Humanities of Clinical Medicine at the Seventh Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University in China. His research interests include medical sociology, science and technology studies, and development studies. He is currently a co-investigator with other members of the initiative on a UK Economic and Social Research Council-funded project on the transnational provisioning of services in healthcare.

Dr Yiming Dong is a research associate at the King’s College London Department of International Development. She was awarded a PhD by King’s Lau China Institute, and obtained her MSc from University of Oxford and BA from Fudan University. In 2019, she was awarded a research grant by the Universities’ China Committee in London to explore return migration and social and economic development in Western China. Prior to coming to King’s, she worked in the United Nations, Fudan University, and Xinhua News Agency.

Dr Abhay Shukla is Senior Programme Coordinator at SATHI-Pune India. He is an activist, physician and public health specialist, and previous convened the People’s Health Movement – India chapter. Abhay is a leading voice in advocacy for improved regulation of the private medical sector in India and in discussions on a public-centred system for achieving universal healthcare. He is co-author of Dissenting Diagnosis: Voices of Conscience from the Medical Profession.

Dr Indira Chakravarthi works with SATHI-Pune India. Her interests and work lie in the area of health systems and health policy, public health and social justice, and technology in medicine and public health.  She has been a Fellow at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, Delhi, India, where she explored the contested terrain of modern medical practice by studying the alternative delivery models adopted by surgeons in rural areas of India. Indira also works with the People’s Health Movement – India chapter.

Dr. Sibille Merz is Research Affiliate in King’s College London Department of International Development. She holds degrees from Free University in Berlin and Goldsmiths, University of London. Sibille’s research interests include the biopolitics of population classifications (especially ‘race’) in transnational biomedical research, the socio-cultural dimensions of clinical trials and epidemiological cohort studies, the neoliberalisation of healthcare services, and (global) public health. She has previously conducted extensive fieldwork on for-profit clinical trials, population genetics and health entrepreneurship in India.

Shweta Marathe is a researcher at SATHI, Pune, India.  With 12 years of experience at SATHI, she coordinates the research division and has been involved in research studies related to public health systems, community nutrition and the private healthcare sector. She is keen to continue empirical research which supports advocacy efforts for a better health system. Her research interests focus on ongoing transformations in the private healthcare sector. Currently, she is a fellow of the India-HPSR fellowship cohort 2022.