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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


Majdi Ashour

Majdi Ashour
Majdi Ashour
Social Policy School of Social and Political Science University of Edinburgh
Edinburgh UK
Global Public Health Policy
Research Interests
Health policy, Mixed methods, Public health, Gaza Strip, Health Systems Research, Households surveys, Health care seeking behaviours, Out of pocket payments, health systems in conflict affected areas, health care utilization, Epidemiology, In-depth Interviews, Life histories, Health Financing

PhD Title

Beyond Resilience in the Times of Despair: Changes in Out of Pocket Payments in the Gaza Strip.

PhD Supervisors:

Dr. Anuj Kapilashrami and Dr. Mark Hellowell

Biographic sketch

I have completed medical training in the ex-USSR in 1994. Since then, I have been working at both primary and secondary health-care services in the Gaza Strip. After obtaining a Master degree in Public Health Administration and Policy from the University of Minnesota- USA  in 2004, I have become involved in health services research and health policy analysis in the occupied Palestinian territories: provided consultancies to various programs and projects of local and International NGOs; was awarded the World Health Organization’s grants for priority areas of public health in the Eastern Mediterranean Region for 3-times;  and  presented at national and international conferences, including the World Health Summit in Berlin in 2013 and the Global Symposium in Health System in Cape Town in 2014, and the regularly at  annual conferences of the Lancet Palestinian Alliancesince 2010 onward. This has enabled me to publish my research in conference proceedings, edited book, and in peer reviewed journals, including the Lancet.

Before starting my PhD studies in the field of International Public Health Policy at University of Edinburgh in Scotland-UK in 2015, I have  completed courses on Health Policy- Health System Strengthening in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMIC)  for 8 weeks  and on Qualitative and Mixed Methods in International Health for 4 weeks at the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp-Belgium from March to June 2012, lectured and was trained at the 2 weeks course on “Health Systems through Conflict and Recovery”  which took place in Pisa-Italy in April 2013, and was trained at the first World Health Organization advanced course on Health Financing for Universal Coverage in Developing Countries, which was held in Tunis-Tunisia in June 2014.


  • MASTER OF PUBLIC HEALTH, HEALTH ADMINISTRATION AND POLICY, University of Minnesota School of Public Health, Minneapolis, MN, USA .  ( January 2003- December  2004)
  • DOCTOR OF MEDICINE, Dagestan State Medical Institute (Academy), Makhachkala, Dagestan, Russian Federation(September 1988 - June1994)

Professional and Academic training :

  • World Health Organization Advanced Course on Health Financing for Universal Health Coverage for Low and Middle Income Countries, Tunis, Tunisia. ( the 16th – 20th of June 2014)
  • Short Course on Health Systems through Conflict and Recovery, Scuola Superior Sant'Anna, Pisa, Italy. ( the 8th – the 19th  of April 2013)
  •   Short Course (6 ETC)  in Qualitative and Mixed Research Methods in International Health, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium. ( the 7th of May – the 1st June  2012)
  • Short Course ( 10 ETC)  in Health Policy- Health system Strengthening in Lower and Middle Income Countries, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium. ( the 5th March- the 27th April  2012 )
  • DIPLOMA IN ANESTHESIOLOGY AND CRITICAL CARE MEDICINE, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society and the Palestine Ministry of Health, Gaza Strip, Palestine. (September 1997- August 1998)
  • One Year Non-degree Training (RESIDENCY) in the field of Internal Medicine, Jordan University Hospital, Amman, Jordan.  ( July 1996- July 1997)


Full time work:

  • Medical Officer A- in charge of Health Center- Gaza Field Health Program, the United Nations Relief and Work Agency for the Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).   (August 2008-Present) – currently on leave without pay for educational purposes.  
  • Medical Officer B, UNRWA, Gaza Strip.( April 2005- July 2008)
  • Physician-Intensivist, Intensive Care Departments, Shifa Hospital, Ministry of Health, Gaza Strip, Palestine. (June 1999- January 2003)
  • Physician-Internist, Al- Karama hospital, Police Medical Services,  Abassan, Gaza Strip, Palestine.(January 1996-June 1999)
  • Physician Intern, Shifa Hospital, Ministry of Health, Gaza Strip, Palestine. (August 1994-August 1995)


  • Volunteering Physician & Community Health Activist. THE PALESTINIAN MEDICAL RELIEF SOCIETY (PMRS), Gaza Strip. ( July1994- January 2010)
  • Public Health Advisor,  Help Doctors, Lille, France. (April-November 2009)
  • Short term consultancy for MEDICO International to assist in internal monitoring and evaluation of the project titled “Reconstruction and Improvement of Community-oriented (Primary) Health Care Infrastructure and Provision of Nutritional Counseling and Nutritional Supplements for Marginalized Communities in Gaza”  funded by the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation of Development. (November 2013)
  • Part Time Public Health Consultant, Training, Accounting, and Management Institute ( TAMI ) to evaluate health projects. ( October 2013- December 2014)


  • Trainer, A training course on CHRONIC DISEASES AT PHC LEVEL, the PMRS, Gaza Strip, Palestine. (October 2002-December 2002)
  • Lecturer, the PMRS School of Community Health, Gaza Strip, Palestine.  (January 2002-  2003)
  • Guest Lecturer, Training Course “Health Systems through Conflicts and Recovery” Scuola Superior Sant'Anna, Pisa, Italy. ( the 8th – the 19th  of April 2013).
  • Guest disscussant, PG course “ Global Politics and Public Health” , Global Public Health Unit, School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK. ( January 2016) 
  • Guest Lecturer, Strengthening Health and Health Systems in Fragile and Conflict-Affected states, Institute of Global Health and Development, Queen Margrate University, Scotland, UK. ( March 2016) 


  • The WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO)-Eastern Mediterranean Regional (EMR) Office 9th Special Grant for Research in Priority Areas of Public Health (RPPH) as a Principle Investigator. (March- December 2013)
  • The WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO)-Eastern Mediterranean Regional (EMR) Office 6th Special Grant for  RPPH as a Principle Investigator. (September 2008- august 2009)
  • Short term research consultancy for the Italian Cooperation to assess the prevalence of Nosocommial Infection in the Intensive Care Unit in Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. ( March-July 2009)
  • Short term research consultancy for the Italian Cooperation to assess the performance of Primary Health Care  (PHC) Centers in Gaza City. ( March-July 2009)
  • WHO- EMR Office 5th Special Grant for RPPH as a Co-Investigator.(March 2007 – February 2008)


  • FULBRIGHT SCHOLARSHIP AWARD to study Public Health Administration and Policy at the UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH.(January 2003-January 2005 )
  • New Voice for Global Health: The World Health Summit, Berlin-Germany, 2014. 
  • Civil Society Scholar  ( Open Society Foundations)  Scholarship Award to conduct the PhD field work in the Gaza Strip ( 2016-2017) 

List of Authorship:  

International Health Journals:

 Remco van de Pas,  Majdi Ashour, Anuj Kapilashrami and Suzanne Fustukian ( 2017) Interrogating resilience in health systems development. Health Policy and Planning, 1–3. doi: 10.1093/heapol/czx110 

( 2017) Majdi Ashour and Ali Abu Zaid, Prevalence of non-communicable diseases and use of health services in the Gaza Strip: an analysis of a household survey. The Lancet,  Volume 390, Special IssueS1-S38. The 1st of August 2017. 

(2017) Majdi Ashour, Individual and socioeconomic disparities in health-seeking behaviours and out-of-pocket payments in the Gaza Strip in 2013: results from a household survey. The Lancet, Volume 390 Special IssueS1-S42. August. 

(2014) Majdi Ashour, Khamis Elessi, The Israeli army’s attacks on civilians lives and civilian infrastructure in the Gaza Strip, including health facilities, should be named correctly. Rapid Response to the BMJ article:

 (2013) Majdi Ashour , Ghassan Zaqout,  Aed Yaghi,  Osama   Bal'awi,  Mahmoud Daher,  Nidal Abuhadrous. Emergency preparedness and response of the Palestinian health system to an Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip, occupied Palestinian territory, in 2012: a qualitative assessment. The Lancet, Volume 382, Issue , Page S6, 5 December 2013.

(2013) Majdi Ashour, MD, MPH , Ali Abou Zeid, PhD, Catherine Korachais, PhD.  Catastrophic Health Expenditure and entitlement to health services  in the occupied Palestinian territory: A retrospective analysis. The Lancet, Volume 382, Issue , Page 3, 20 October 2013.

 (2012) Majdi Ashour and Khalil El-Nakhal. Nosocomial infection in patients admitted to an intensive care unit at Al-Shifa Hospital in the Gaza Strip, occupied Palestinian territory: a retrospective assessment  The Lancet, Volume 380, Page S33, 1 October 2012. DOI:

 (2012) Imad El Awour, Yehia Abed, Majdi Ashour , Determinants and risk factors of neonatal mortality in the Gaza Strip, occupied Palestinian territory: a case-control study. The Lancet, Volume 380, Pages S25 - S26, 1 October 2012. DOI:

(2012) Majdi Ashour, Health of Palestinian People in the Ghettoes: From Gaza to Shatila. ( correspondence) The Lancet, Volume 379, Issue 9833, Pages 2241-2.

(2011) Majdi Ashour, Nedal Ghuneim, Aed Yaghi. Civilians’ experience in the Gaza Strip during the Operation Cast Lead by Israel. ( Abstract) Published on the LANCET website:

(2011)Majdi Ashour, Graham Watt.  Use of maternal health services in the Gaza Strip, occupied Palestinian territory: a survey of households. ( Abstract) Published on the LANCET website:

( 2010), Majdi Ashour.  Health Services Use and Choice of Health -care provider in the Gaza Strip: a household survey (Abstract)  Available at the Lancet website: 


Ashour M. 2016. Applying Resilience to health system research: beyond a personal journey in the Gaza Strip. International Health Policies. 12 November., accessed 17 December 2016.

( 2014) Majdi Ashour, We have gone through it ( hopefully):

(2014) Majdi Ashour, Health in the time of “political plague”: Confronting the clash of ignorance! : 

(2012) Majdi Ashour, The motorcycle Diaries revisited: on PPES and PTSD: 

Solicited  Reports:

( 2013) A report on the health situation in the Gaza Strip Submitted through People Health Movement ( PHM) to the Lancet – University of Oslo   Commission on Global Governance for Health:

Book Chapters: 

  • (2006) " Financing Under Adversity: The Case of Palestinian Health Care System." In: Yfantopoulos, J.N., Papanikos, G.T. and Boutsioli, Z. (Eds.) Health Care Issues: An International Perspective. Pp. 417-436. Athens, Greece: Athens Institute for Education and Research.

The book table of contents of the book is  available on :

Conferences' Proceedings:

  • (2008) " Health in the Gaza Strip: Siege, Fire, and Internal division" in The proceedings of the 5th International Conference of Gaza Community Mental Health Program: " Siege and Mental Health: Walls vs. Bridges"
  • (2007) “Right to Health: deterioration of health conditions as a result of the boycott and suspension of funding.Pp. 134-140 in: "the proceedings of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights PCHR’s conference: The New Palestinian Government and the Human Rights Agenda”, Gaza, Palestine. (Arabic). Available at:

Local Newspapers:

  • (2005) “The impacts of Israeli Unilateral Disengagement plan on the Health Care System and the Health Conditions in the Gaza Strip.Alquds Newspaper. Jerusalem, Palestine. (Arabic).

Master thesis: 

  • (2004) “The Health Conditions and the Health Care System in the Occupied Palestinian Territories: Beyond the Tanks and Ambulances."  Unpublished Master Project thesis, Division of Health Services Research& Policy and Administration, Minneapolis, USA: the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.

Training Materials:

  • ( 2002) " Dealing with Diabetic Patients – Training Manual for Community Health Workers and Nurses at the PHC settings."  Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS). GAZA.