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Primary Care Interventions to Address Patients’ Unmet Economic Needs and Promote Health Equity

The JC School of Public Health and Primary Care and CUHK Institute of Health Equity are pleased to co-host a seminar, titled “Primary Care Interventions to Address Patients’ Unmet Economic Needs and Promote Health Equity” presented by Dr Jane Parry, Public Health and Development Analyst and Writer based in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada and Hong Kong.

Presentation Abstract

Poverty is acknowledged as the largest single social determinant of health in many high-income countries, and health care professionals are responding to this with income interventions, primarily in primary care settings.

In this presentation, Dr Jane Parry first examines the findings of a scoping review of existing interventions, providing a unique overview of activities targeting economic needs. This spans the whole spectrum of interventions, from screening patients, and collecting and managing data, to referring patients to external services, and direct intervention.

The second part presents a case study of an income security health promotion service in a family practice in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The study is the first to investigate its origins, context and functioning, and offers important insights into how to create and sustain such a programme in other primary care settings.

The third part looks at Hong Kong, where there are no such interventions. Through interviews with GOPD doctors, the study explores the multiple barriers to primary care responsiveness to poverty, as well as potential facilitators and avenues for change. In doing so, the paper offers pointers for the introduction of such interventions not only in Hong Kong, but also in other high-income settings with high levels of inequality.

Primary Care Interventions to Address Patients’ Unmet Economic Needs and Promote Health Equity


17 November 2023 (Friday)


14:30 –15:30


Tutorial Room, 3/F, School of Public Health Building, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin (Map),

and via Zoom


Dr. Jane Parry, Health and Development Analyst and Writer, Canada / Hong Kong


Prof. Roger Chung, Associate Professor, Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care;

Associate Director, Institute of Health Equity;

Co-Director, Centre for Bioethics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

CME accreditation (non-specialist) is applied for this seminar.

About the Speaker

Dr Jane Parry is a public health and development analyst and writer. Her research interests focus on urban poverty and health equity in high-income countries. Her doctoral research investigated the role primary care providers can play in addressing the unmet income needs of patients who are experiencing poverty. Her professional experience spans a 30-year career as a writer, researcher and analyst, across a range of industries and organizations. Currently, her professional client list includes multilateral development banks, United Nations agencies, and international non-governmental organizations.

She has lived in Hong Kong since 1989 and now divides her time between Hong Kong and Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. She has a PhD in Health and Society from McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, an MPH from the University of Hong Kong and a BA(Hons) in Modern Chinese Studies from the University of Leeds, UK.

About the Moderator

A social epidemiologist by training, Prof Roger Chungs research uses the lens of biomedical ethics and justice to examine the social determinants of health and health inequalities. He is currently examining social determinants such as poverty, deprivation, socioeconomic disadvantage, environmental and housing factors, and migrant status. He is also particularly interested in the health of the vulnerable populations, including migrant workers and rare disease patients. Additionally, he is conducting research on aging‐related issues, such as multimorbidity and long‐term/end‐of‐life care. Collectively, the purpose of his research is to inform health services and public policy, domestically and beyond.

Prof Chung obtained the Bachelor (BA) degree in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University and Master of Health Science (MHS) from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the US in 2005. He further received his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree from the School of Public Health of the University of Hong Kong in 2011, with his study on the impact of socioeconomic development on population health. He is currently studying the Master in Bioethics (MBE) at Harvard Medical School to further his training in bioethics. He was also the inaugural International Health Fellow of the US National Academy of Medicine.



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