Healthcare in Kazakhstan

 

 

When the Soviet Union crumbled in 1991, Kazakhstan was one of the republics that were thrust into independence, but with a deteriorating healthcare system. Health services were essentially free, but the gruelling period in the nation's history made everything acquire a price of its own that was often heftier than afforded.

It is true that Kazakhstan’s national healthcare system experienced a decline in the post-Soviet era mainly because of insufficient funding and loss of medical personnel due to emigration. However, Kazakhstan’s sovereignty also opened new doors towards reforms that aimed to build a strong foundation that will save the crumbling healthcare system. During the past decade, two major reform programmes were developed: the 2005-2010 National Programme for Health Care Reform and Development and the 2011-2015 State Health Care Development Programme. The government of Kazakhstan has undertaken significant efforts in changing the health service provision which included increasing the emphasis on the role of the primary healthcare sector.

Changes in the Healthcare System

Today, the Health Sector Technology Transfer and Institutional Reform Project is giving Kazakhstan a whole new world to look forward to in terms of providing security to its citizens. Because the country is highly dependent on the foreign job market, expatriates have also been given a special place in the project, which is only at the beginning of many significant improvements to come. This programme has seven focal points:

  • Health financing and management
  • Healthcare quality improvement
  • Reform for medical education and medical science
  • Health information system development
  • Pharmaceutical policy reform
  • Health information system development
  • Food safety

Although the program aims to impact mainly the healthcare sector, it is envisioned to drive the nation into general public reforms. It is spurred by the belief that a healthier population will ultimately bring about a higher level of productivity among its citizen and expatriate workers. Health reform leaders plan to achieve their goals with the creation of an independent accreditation system that will evaluate compliance with healthcare quality control guidelines by building a pool of trained and competent staff and assessors, developing and enforcing medical practice regulations and making a culture out of maintaining international standards in the provision of health services.

The Private Healthcare Sector

On the other hand, the private healthcare industry is effectively augmenting expatriates' needs with a range of policies that look into their specific requirements, especially for those who work under hazardous conditions. Services typically include claims and emergency advice as well as a directory listing of all hospitals and healthcare institutions, consulates and embassies in the country. Expats are also kept informed about the latest trends and news to put them in a better position, as they strive to maintain good health and ensure productivity not just for themselves, but for their families as well.

Healthcare Coverage for Expats

Basic health services in Kazakhstan are still free as provided by the government, but the quality is not that good. Many expatriates take out private health insurance Kazakhstan to supplement their public insurance coverage. The patient pays the doctor in cash and reimbursements may be filed with the government or the private insurer. Another useful feature of an international private insurance plan is evacuation to another country when local facilities and equipment are not enough.

Visiting a Doctor

A typical public hospital in Kazakhstan is inefficiently manned and under-equipped, both in terms of technology and human resources. Hence, people sometimes have to be evacuated to another country to obtain quality health care. Language can also be a serious issue when seeking medical help. There are not too many English-speaking doctors in Kazakhstan. Hence, given the extreme importance of effective communication between doctor and patient, it is wise for expats to search online for doctors who speak English. Or foreigners may also call their embassy for information.

Hospitals in Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan has a nationwide system of government-funded medical facilities that are open to service the general public. Around 70% of the country’s total healthcare and medical needs are provided by the public sector while the remaining 30% is delivered by the private health sector. A vast share of medical services in this country is also provided by primary care facilities also known as policlinics and ambulatories. Hospitals in Kazakhstan also provide some outpatient care in their specialty clinics and emergency rooms but most of their role is to provide inpatient care. Below are some of the major clinics and hospitals in Kazakhstan:

  • La Bonne Sante Clinic

Potanin Str., 14. Astana

Tel: +7 (7172) 380303

45 Miras Distr. , Almaty

Tel: +7 (727) 296 1200

  • Alba Healthcare Centre

Koktem-2 microdistrict, 16, Almaty

Tel: +7 (727) 2474583

  • AEA International Clinic

Abaya Street 2a, Atyrau

Tel: + 7 (3122) 255000

*Contents of Visiting a Doctor section integrated in this article.

 

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