Health and Society Institute, Faculty of Medicine, University of Newcastle, UK
As a physician and academic, who has practiced, researched and taught various aspects of clinical and public health medicine on 5 continents and for almost 40 years, while being attached to the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp. An annotated list of research findings is available at: http://jeanpierreunger.be
The main categories of these researches were as follows:
- Professional medical and paramedical practice
- Medical knowledge: production and management
- Medical ethics
- Clinical and public health education
- Disease control
- Organisation and management of health services
- National health policies
- Development cooperation and international health policies
- Clinical research, public health and health policy methods
- Formulation of alternative policies in health, international aid, research and education.
A few principles guided his action and analysis:
- Access to professional health care and a universal health system is a human right and a key to social justice. In medicine, whether clinical or public health, publicly funded academics should contribute to the exercise of this right.
- In order to encourage professionals to be ethical, reflective and involved in the transmission of professionalism, the mission of public services management and of public policies should be social and professional – not commercial and industrial.
- For the sake of relevance to medical professionalism and public sector development, I relied on action research and action learning. Practice was part of my academic duty. And so, I used medical practice to conceptualize health management; health management practice to evaluate national health policies; and national and regional policy guidance to evaluate international health policies.
- To consolidate my theories, I conducted my researches in a large array of countries, from developing to industrial.
- I always referred to explicit medical values and quality criteria of health care. This type of research was interdisciplinary and therefore inherently quite risky.
For 4 years Jean-Pierre was director and for 6, co-director of the Master of Public Health course. He is now an Associate Professor Emeritus of the Institute of Tropical Medicine and a visiting professor at the Health and Society Institute, Faculty of Medicine, University of Newcastle, UK.