Kazakh healthcare minister reports on new infrastructure development plan

ASTANA – Minister of Healthcare Yelzhan Birtanov recently briefed the government on the Unified Healthcare Infrastructure Development Plan developed by the ministry and local executive authorities seeking to make the national healthcare system more compact and efficient.


“As a result of the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) Health Care Review, experts approved the methods designed to develop the infrastructure and gave particular recommendations, such as accelerating the consolidation of the healthcare sector and implementing a systematic approach to streamline new investments. Currently, we are working on altering the configuration of healthcare organisations,” he said.

In rural areas, where availability of medical services is a priority, the existing facilities will be modernised and medical care is to be provided on district and inter-district levels. Specialised medical help will be available at the district level depending on the demand in corresponding areas.

In the urban environment, medical care will be provided in outpatient clinics. Specialised clinics, such as cardiology, oncology and birth centres, are to be integrated into general hospitals and the locations will be used to provide nursing care, he added. Children’s hospitals will continue to operate separately.

On the national level, the existing research institutes will be merged into university medical centres.

“The unified plan includes the national plan and 16 regional plans designed by local executive authorities for 2018-2025. Each of them takes into account corresponding demographic and epidemiological situations and the existing infrastructure. The plan is an effective management tool that addresses the issues of optimisation, privatisation, construction of new facilities and modernisation of existing ones,” added Birtanov.

According to the regional plans, outpatient clinic capacity is expected to increase by 12.5 percent by 2025. Urban hospital capacity will reach 424 beds, which is close to best international practice, whereas in rural areas this indicator will remain at 91 beds.

In previous years, significant investments in healthcare were part of the 100 Schools, 100 Hospitals and 350 family clinics programmes. Those investments have significantly decreased and the current aggregate investment demand is one billion tenge (US$3 million) until 2025.

“Implementation of investment projects is to be executed through public-private partnership (PPP) using a standard financial model and affordable lending. Large PPP projects in 2018 should be financed by Asian and European development banks,” said Birtanov.

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