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Understanding the structure of a country’s health service providers for defence health engagement
  1. Martin Bricknell1,
  2. S Hinrichs-Krapels2,
  3. S Ismail3 and
  4. R Sullivan4
  1. 1Conflict and Health Research Group, King's College London⁠—Strand Campus, London, UK
  2. 2Policy Institute, King's College London, London, UK
  3. 3Department of Primary Care and Public Health, Imperial College London Faculty of Medicine, London, UK
  4. 4Conflict and Health Research Group, King's College London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Martin Bricknell, Conflict and Health Research Group, King's College London - Strand Campus, London WC2R 2LS, UK; martin.bricknell{at}


There are a variety of structural and systems frameworks for describing the building blocks of country’s public health and health systems. In this paper, we propose a conceptual framework for a holistic view of a country’s health service providers in order to inform the plan for Defence Health Engagement activities with partner countries. This includes all potential government ministries involved in healthcare provision, the independent, private sector and the non-government organisation/charity sector. The framework provides a visualisation to support the analysis of a country’s health services providers. We propose that recognising and analysing the different contributions of all these national health providers is essential for understanding the wider political economy of a nation’s health systems. This can inform a plan of Defence Health Engagement for capacity building in crisis response, development and health systems strengthening.

  • public health
  • medical education & training
  • organisation of health services

This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to copy, redistribute, remix, transform and build upon this work for any purpose, provided the original work is properly cited, a link to the licence is given, and indication of whether changes were made. See:

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  • Contributors The paper was conceived and drafted by MB. All contributing authors made substantial contributions during the refinement of the paper.

  • Funding MB, SI are partially funded through the UK Research and Innovation GCRF Research for Health in Conflict developing capability, partnerships and research in the Middle and Near East programme (R4HC-MENA) ES/P010962/1. RS is the Principal Investigator for the programme.

  • Competing interests MB and RS salaries are partially funded by the UK Research and Innovation GCRF Research for Health in Conflict programme (R4HC-MENA) ES/P010962/1.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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