School of Social and Political Science

Amrit Virk

Job Title

Lecturer in Health Policy


Room number


Building (Address)

Chrystal Macmillan Building

Street (Address)

15a George Square,

City (Address)


Country (Address)


Post code (Address)


Research interests

Research interests


Amrit’s research, teaching, and writing is broadly focused on health policy and systems in low- and middle-income countries, spanning work across Southeast Asia (Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore), South Asia (India), and West Africa (Sierra Leone and Nigeria). She has an active portfolio of ongoing research in two substantive areas, one focused on health systems and medical innovations in low resource and conflict settings, and a second on youth and well-being in post-conflict settings (NE India and West Africa). Amrit principally uses qualitative and participatory approaches in her work, most recently combining these techniques in projects with medical professionals and youth populations across several states in India and Sierra Leone and Nigeria. 

Select Publications

  • Virk A, Nelson E-U and Dele-Adedeji I (forthcoming 2024) The challenge of youth unemployment in Nigeria. Journal of International and Comparative Social Policy, 1–11.
  • Bella Jalloh M., Virk A., Dele-Adedeji I., and Ebenso B. (2023) How to Stop West Africa’s Brain Drain, Think Global Health, Nov 23, 2023. Link to article.
  • Surender R and Virk A. Social Policy in the BRICS countries, in Alcock P (Editor), Haux T (Editor), McCall V. (Editor), May M.(Editor)The Student's Companion to Social Policy, 6th Edition. ISBN: 978-1-119-74488-7 April 2022 Wiley-Blackwell, 469-75.
  • Virk A, Bella Jalloh M, Koedoyoma S, Smalle IO, Bolton W, Scott JA, Brown J, Jayne D, Ensor T, King R. What factors shape surgical access in West Africa? A qualitative study exploring patient and provider experiences of managing injuries in Sierra Leone. BMJ Open. 2021 Mar 1;11(3):e042402. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-042402. PMID: 33649054; PMCID: PMC8098971.
  • Virk A, Croke K, Mohd Yusoff M, Mokhtaruddin K, Abdullah Z, Nadziha Mohd Hanafiah A, Soleha Ramli E, Filzatun Borhan N, Almodovar Diaz Y, Aun YW, Atun R. Hybrid Organizations in Health Systems: The Corporatization of Malaysia's National Heart Institute. Health Syst Reform. 2020 Dec 1;6(1):e1833639. doi: 10.1080/23288604.2020.1833639. PMID: 33314988.
  • Ensor T, Virk A, Aruparayil N. Factors influencing use of essential surgical services in North-East India: a cross-sectional study of obstetric and gynaecological surgery. BMJ Open. 2020 Oct 22;10(10):e038470. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-038470. PMID: 33093032; PMCID: PMC7583072.
  • Croke K, Mohd Yusoff MB, Abdullah Z, Mohd Hanafiah AN, Mokhtaruddin K, Ramli ES, Borhan NF, Almodovar-Diaz Y, Atun R, Virk AK. The political economy of health financing reform in Malaysia. Health Policy Plan. 2019 Dec 1;34(10):732-739. doi: 10.1093/heapol/czz089. PMID: 31563946; PMCID: PMC6913695.
  • Virk A. Health care systems in low and middle-income countries. In Midgley J., Surender R and Alfers L (2019) Handbook of Social Policy and Development, Edward Elgar publishers.
  • Virk A, Ensor T, Bolton W, et al O15 Building sustainable partnerships with local researchers for qualitative health systems research, BMJ Open 2019;9:doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-QHRN.15
  • King R, Virk A. Qualitative research for large-scale sustainable impact on health in low-resource settings, BMJ Open 2019;9:doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-QHRN.1
  • Jimenez G, Tan WS, Virk AK, Low CK, Car J, Ho AHY. State of advance care planning research: A descriptive overview of systematic reviews. Palliat Support Care. 2019 Apr;17(2):234-244. doi: 10.1017/S1478951518000500. Epub 2018 Jul 30. PMID: 30058506.
  • Jimenez G, Tan WS, Virk AK, Low CK, Car J, Ho AHY. Overview of Systematic Reviews of Advance Care Planning: Summary of Evidence and Global Lessons. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2018 Sep;56(3):436-459.e25. doi: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2018.05.016. Epub 2018 May 25. PMID: 29807158.
  • Virk AK. Universalising health coverage in emerging economies: Policy developments in India for extending health care to poor populations. In E. Braathen, J. May and G. Wright (2016) Poverty and Inequality in Middle Income Countries: Policy Achievements, Political Obstacles; CROP series. Zed Books.
  • A.K. Virk, R. Atun. Towards universal health coverage in India: a historical examination of the genesis of Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana – The health insurance scheme for low-income groups, Public Health, Volume 129, Issue 6, 2015, Pages 810-817,
    ISSN 0033-3506,


DPhil (Social Policy), University of Oxford

MPhil (Social and Political Science), University of Cambridge

MA (Political Science) and BA Hons. (Journalism), University of Delhi

Research interests

Amrit’s research interests are in the area of health policy and systems research and health care/system innovations in low and middle income countries, using innovative participatory and qualitative approaches.  If you are interested in being supervised by Amrit Virk, please see the link below for more information:


Works within

Staff Hours and Guidance

Amrit is on research leave in Semester 2 (2023-24), until Summer 2024.