Kazakhstan Completes First Stage of Health Care Institutional Reform

Apr 17. MFA

Kazakhstan Completes First Stage of Health Care Institutional ReformKazakhstan in cooperation with the International Bank of Reconstruction and Development has set to implement a five-year technology transfer project and carry out institutional reform in the sphere of healthcare. The first stage of the project has already been completed, which drew the attention of MPs and was discussed in the Majilis of the Parliament of Kazakhstan last week.

The project worth US$ 296 million is implemented within the framework of the loan agreement ratified on November 6, 2008 and is to be implemented until June 2013.

The project aims to create most favourable conditions for ensuring high quality medical services, competitive healthcare system, and a long-term institutional potential that involves development of the personnel resources and the appropriate infrastructure.

The completion of the project’s first stage enabled to form a basis for further modernization of the country’s healthcare management and financial system, medical education and medical science management, introduction of e-healthcare system, as well as to improve the provision of medical services and medicines to the population and strengthen food safety management.

In addition, the standards of investment planning, along with qualification standards for healthcare managers, accreditation standards for the blood banks and blood transfusion services, diagnostic laboratories, and ambulance service were developed.

Kazakhstan’s Healthcare Ministry has certified the accreditation standards for hospitals, polyclinics and primary healthcare organizations and renewed the Government Drug Formulary list. The Strategy for Modernization of the Outpatient Drug Supply programme has been developed.

The project also stipulates education and training courses that are largely focused on the issues of ensuring food safety. At that, there was set forth a number of proposals for the harmonization of Kazakhstan’s legislation in the context of the Single Economic Space and integration with the European Union.

The appropriate framework for the analysis of healthcare policy development and healthcare financing, as well as management training and investment planning has been developed to form a long-term institutional potential. The Ministry has also started introducing new methods of ensuring the guaranteed volume of free medical care and establishing institutional mechanisms for raising medical awareness of the population and medical workers, including through opening a call-center.

In November 2011, independent experts together with representatives of the World Health Organization carried out a mid-term assessment of the project. Following the results of the assessment, there were developed recommendations for harmonization of the project’s terms with the “Salamatty Kazakhstan” national programme.

Representatives of the international organizations noted Kazakhstan has achieved progress in the modernization of its healthcare system. Head of the WHO Country Office in Kazakhstan Melita Vujnovic believes Kazakhstan’s experience in healthcare development can serve as an example for the European countries, including in the development of the new European policy for health titled Health 2020.