National news in brief

“The Ministry of Justice was selected as a developer to formulate a draft entrepreneurial code,” Minister of Justice Berik Imashev announced on Feb. 20 at an expanded meeting of the ministry board. The government’s legislative work in 2013 totalled 39 bills, which in comparison to 2012 is a 15 percent increase. Most importantly, there is more content to the most recent set of bills,” Imashev said. According to him, four draft codes – criminal, criminal procedure, penal (criminal-executive) and the code on administrative offenses – were submitted to the legislative floors. “The 2013 plan was fully implemented. This was made possible thanks to good governmental and parliamentary cooperation and coordination,” he underlined. At the meeting, it was noted that on Dec. 31, 2013, the government approved a bill schedule for 2014; it includes 45 bills. The Ministry of Justice was named the developer of five bills. Imashev announced at the meeting that the Ministry of Justice is a key state body providing about 42 percent of public services. “In the past year, more than 11 million services were rendered, which is 28 percent more than in 2012. Over 78 percent of them, or more than 8 million services, were provided electronically. Automation has significantly reduced the time it takes to render public services and has eliminated paper work,” Imashev said.

The Akimat (city administration) of Astana and Gustave Roussy French Institute of Oncology signed a memorandum on Feb. 13 on the development of oncology services in Astana by introducing international standards of diagnosis and treatment and the further training of specialists on modern methods of prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer pathologies. Kazakhstan and France agreed to exchange experience in the field of innovative methods for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and hold joint seminars, workshops and consultations with joint participation in scientific conferences and telemedicine. The document will help Astana oncologists introduce innovative technologies in chemotherapy treatment in accordance with international practice, improve the organisation of early stage cancer screening programmes, develop new treatments, improve the quality of life of cancer patients and implement training programmes for oncologists on new diagnostic and treatment methods.

At the end of 2013, the average life expectancy in Kazakhstan stood at 70.3 years, the Ministry of Health Care reported on Feb. 18. These figures exceed the goals set by Salamatty Kazakhstan State Healthcare Development Programme of achieving a 70-year life expectancy by 2015 and a 72-year life expectancy by 2020. Contributing to the increase are a reduction in maternal mortality by 1.4 times and a reduction in infant mortality by 1.3 times over the past three years. Levels of death caused by circulatory disease and some types of cancer have also fallen. Overall mortality fell by 4.6 percent, according to Kazakhstan’s National Statistics Agency.

A ceremony for the signing of a memorandum on the establishment of a geological research centre in Kazakhstan was held at Nazarbayev University on Feb. 20. The memorandum was signed by Kazgeology National Company and the Nazarbayev University Research and Innovation System. Assistant to the President of Kazakhstan Yerbol Orynbayev, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry and New Technologies Asset Issekeshev, Minister of Education and Science Aslan Sarinzhipov and President of Nazarbayev University Shigeo Katsu took part in the event.

In Taraz, on Feb. 21, a job fair for people with disabilities was held, with 218 jobs being offered. Specialist consultations regarding labour legislation, social protections for disabled people and active forms of employment were held. According to employment information, in 2013, 19,009 people applied to local employment support offices and 87.8 percent of them became employed. In January 2014, 12 of 48 people with disabilities were employed in the region, 13 unemployed people were hired for paid social work.

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