Kazakhstan’s healthcare sector to see salary increase, faces personnel shortage

NUR-SULTAN – The Ministry of Healthcare plans to adjust its reimbursement for medical procedures to facilitate 30 percent salary increases for 400,000 medical workers in 2020, Minister of Healthcare Yelzhan Birtanov announced at a June 18 public meeting.

The ministry does not set salaries but pays healthcare organisations for services provided. The fixed price for each service is called a tariff and the tariff is included in salary costs. By increasing this reimbursement, the salaries will also increase.

“This month all the necessary measures were taken to increase salary in accordance with the instructions of Kazakhstan’s First President Nursultan Nazarbayev and President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. The average salary with additional payments will be increased by 30 percent,” Birtanov said.

A tariff increase in 2018 failed to increase salaries as desired, so the government is taking measures this year to ensure the tariff increases result in higher pay for medical workers.

“This year we will work according to a new mechanism. The Social Health Insurance Fund will monitor the targeted use of this money in all medical centres, including private ones,” he said.

The fund is a single payer and it has the right to establish additional requirements.

“We plan to cooperate with trade unions. We have concluded an agreement with all key trade union organisations. This is a widespread practice. We will increase funding and trade unions will demand higher salary. I think this scheme will bring results. The local executive bodies will also ensure control over this issue. This scheme will bring an annual pay rise,” he said.

The minister said an analysis of healthcare personnel showed a shortage of more than 7,000 specialists.

Last year, more than 1,900 graduates started their careers in the regions. A mandatory three-year work in state medical organisations will be introduced for graduates. A distribution of graduates will be made on the Enbek.kz website.

Approximately 600 primary healthcare facilities and hospitals will be built to cover all rural locations as part of the pubic-private partnership till 2021. A cancer centre with advanced cancer treatment methods, including proton therapy, will also be built in the capital.

Last year, more than 1,200 transplantations and 43 heart ventricle operations were done. Invasive technologies of domestic neurosurgery make it possible to treat hard-to-reach brain tumours. Neurostimulation of deep brain structures proves to be effective in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.