Media contact

Dan Wheelahan
UNSW Media Office
02 9385 1933 or 0435 930 465

A UNSW public health degree launched this week is designed to strengthen the capacity of India’s medical workforce to respond to the major health challenges facing the country.

The partnership between UNSW Australia and Medvarsity – Apollo Hospitals Group’s e-learning venture – will see a new Master of Public Health (International) program offered in a fully-online mode in India for the first time. The Apollo Hospitals Group includes 64 hospitals and 1500 pharmacies as well as several hundred primary care and diagnostic clinics. UNSW is a top-ranked global university and the degree will be offered through UNSW Medicine, one of the world’s top 50 medical schools.

The new Master of Public Health (International) will help address the growing shortage of public health professionals in India.

The need for this degree was identified by Medvarsity, which has been delivering joint courses in other subjects with UNSW for several years. The new degree, aimed at doctors and other health professionals, will be delivered and awarded by UNSW, with an internship at an Apollo health site to give students the opportunity to apply theory in practice in India. Indian students will join fellow health professionals from Australia and around the world in a virtual global classroom, learning essential public health theory and skills.

A coveted internship will be at the Total Health Program in drought-stricken Aragonda, the birthplace of Dr Prathap Reddy, Apollo’s founder and Chairman. “Total Health aims to prevent disease and build healthy, resilient communities,” Dr Reddy said.

"Non-communicable disease is going to be the number one reason for mortality in India. A strong community and public health program will help doctors and hospitals be better prepared to deal with these diseases. Our partnership with UNSW will allow us to bring the best training available anywhere in the world on managing public health and offer it to our students in India.

“We are delighted to bring this program to the next generation of health leaders in India through the Master of Public Health (International),” said Dr Reddy.


Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Jacobs presents an Honorary Doctorate to Dr Prathap Reddy, Apollo’s founder and Chairman. Photo: Supplied

The Head of the UNSW School of Public Health and Community Medicine, Professor Raina MacIntyre, said India faces a shortage of public health professionals as it responds to population level control of major diseases including diabetes, cancer and infectious diseases.

“The new Master of Public Health (International) will help address the growing shortage of public health professionals in India. The flexible program is delivered fully online so that busy clinicians can keep working as they achieve this qualification,” Professor MacIntyre said. “They can retain their job and avoid the expense of living in Australia, and get a UNSW degree, while still attending our summer school in Sydney.”

The flexible program is delivered fully online so that busy clinicians can keep working as they achieve this qualification.

Dr Reddy was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Medicine by UNSW at the launch of the new course, in recognition of his eminent service to medicine in India and worldwide.

UNSW President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Jacobs, who presented the honorary degree, said both organisations have common values and a shared commitment to creating a better world through improving healthcare.

“The new Master of Public Health (International) program reflects these shared goals and builds on our considerable mutual strengths in health and education. I look forward to growing these enduring links between Australia and India,” Professor Jacobs said.

Students enrolled in the Master of Public Health (International) will have access to advanced learning tools and technology with a fully comparable experience to face-to-face learning.


(L-R) Professor Raina MacIntyre (UNSW), Dr Padmanesan Narasimhan (UNSW), Dr Anita Hewyood (UNSW), Professor Ian Jacobs (VC UNSW), Dr PC Reddy (Chairman, Apollo Group), Dr Dilip Mathai (Dean, Apollo Medical School), Ms Sangita Reddy (Joint Managing Director, Apollo Group), Dr Preetha Reddy (Vice-Chairperson, Apollo Group).

“We have a huge demand for online learning, and in a rapidly changing world this is the future of education,” said Dr Padmanesan Narasimhan, Program Director, Master of Public Health (International).

“UNSW and Medvarsity have both recognised this need, and our partnership brings together the very best of both institutions to improve the public health workforce in India,” Dr Narasimhan said.

Ms Sangeeta Reddy, Joint Managing Director Apollo Hospitals Group, said: "At Apollo and Medvarsity we are always looking for the best education partners that can add value to our doctors and healthcare professionals. This partnership between Apollo Medvarsity and UNSW brings an exceptional, globally recognised masters program to India. Through this course our students can also apply for jobs with global organisations including the World Health Organization and UNESCO." 

More information about the Master of Public Health (International) can be found here