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Topics in the moral economy of healthcare

A postgraduate research opportunity at the University of Otago.


Close date
Saturday, 1 February 2020
Academic background
Health Sciences, Humanities
Host campus
Dunedin School of Medicine
Associate Professor Chrystal Jaye


Healthcare is inherently moral. Health professionals provide health care to patients, and patients expect to be adequately cared for by their health professionals. In this sense healthcare constitutes both a political and a moral economy across macro, meso- and micro-levels of delivery.

The health system of an entire country could be seen as a macro-level moral economy, while the health care delivered by community health practitioners, such as family doctors and nursing services to individual patients can be viewed as the micro-level of this moral economy. Meso-levels can be organisations such as aged residential care facilities, hospitals, or municipality and regional levels of governance. The moral economy can incorporate ethical and best practice, but also includes values that underpin healthcare and the relationships and interactions between agents within the moral economy.

The moral economy of the health sector encompasses both public and private health services as well as the commercial providers of healthcare commodities and health insurances. Examination of healthcare provision as a moral economy provides an alternative means of understanding the ways in which citizens, patients, policy planners, health professionals, health administrators and managers navigate the health sector, and explanations for its successes as well as its failures.

Prospective PhD students interesting in developing a research question within this broad topic at the University of Otago are invited to contact Associate Professor Chrystal Jaye at

This PhD opportunity does not come with funding. Applicants would need to apply for a University of Otago scholarship to fund the PhD. Eligibility criteria as well as funding opportunities for international students can be found here:


Chrystal Jaye
Tel   03 479 5767