Kazakh President, health minister discuss efforts to improve public health

ASTANA – Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev and Minister of Health Yelzhan Birtanov recently discussed state regulation of medicine prices and the fight against corruption in the pharmaceutical industry.7715a79147391d112c30e8e3e30697c3-slider

The discussion included the recent arrests of individuals suspected of corruption within the industry.

“After my assignment to deal with the prices, the head of the Pharmacy Committee and the management of the company SK-Pharmacy are brought to justice. The heads of the health departments of the five regions have been detained. As a result of illegal actions with contracts, the prices for medicines are unjustified,” Nazarbayev said.

Nazarbayev also directed the implementation of an effort to procure medicines and noted Birtanov’s personal responsibility for the supervised industry.

In addition, the head of state was presented with an interim report on the implementation of the Densaulyk state health development programme and information on the fulfilment of the tasks assigned to the ministry. The President noted the importance of disease prevention and stressed the role of citizens in the formation of a healthy nation.

“It is necessary to attract citizens to strengthen their own health. Human health depends on medicine by only 10-15 percent. Everything else depends on the person himself,” Nazarbayev said.

The President encouraged the population to have healthy lifestyles and focused Kazakhstan’s efforts to increase life expectancy to 80 years.

The health minister informed the President on the status of key public health indicators.

“According to all indicators, the situation is stable, life expectancy is increasing, maternal mortality is tending to decrease, and infant mortality has also been declining for several years.” Birtanov said.

The health minister also discussed the ministry’s efforts to improve the public’s health and identify diseases at early stages.

“Starting in 2012, a free medicines programme has been implemented in Kazakhstan. It has a very good effect, as almost 2.5 million people receive free medicine to treat 50 diseases, including arterial hypertension, diabetes and cancer,” Birtanov said.

Birtanov also reported to Nazarbayev about the results of measures to improve the quality of primary health care and the introduction of digital technologies in the healthcare system.