National news in brief

The government has approved the state health development programme 2020-2025, reported Primeminister.kz. The public health service will be modernised to promote a healthy lifestyle among the population. Authorities allocated approximately 513 billion tenge (US$1.3 billion) in three years to implement the health development programme 2016-2019. As a result, the major medical demographic indicators improved and the country’s average life expectancy has reached 73 years. “Kazakhstan’s First President Nursultan Nazarbayev set the task to improve the quality of medical care and increase the financing of primary healthcare up to 60 percent. Head of State Kassym-Jomart Tokayev instructed to implement measures to reduce morbidity, to promote a healthy lifestyle and to ensure accessibility to hospitals,” said Prime Minister Askar Mamin at the Dec. 19 government meeting. 

Local content has been increased in the new energy sector projects, reported the Central Communications Service. According to preliminary results, oil production will be 90.4 million tonnes this year compared to 90.36 million tonnes in 2018. The Ministry of Energy developed amendments to further simplify regulating subsoil use and improve the investment attractiveness of hydrocarbon exploration, said Vice Minister Aset Magauov at a Dec. 19 press conference. An electronic auction mechanism for proper subsoil use was also introduced. Since 2018, the preferences for geological exploration at sea have intensified by implementing the Abai and Isatai offshore projects and there are plans to intensify exploration in promising, little-studied territories. The Ministry of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources will develop the geological exploration programme for 2021-2025 next year. Public investment will be provided to study five basins – Aral, Irtysh, Shu-Sarysu, South Turgai and Syr Darya. 

Authorities plan to increase social sphere financing in 2020 in the North Kazakhstan Region, according to Kazinform. The 242 billion tenge (US$630 million) regional budget was approved Dec. 19. “Next year, spending on the social sector will increase by 27 percent compared to 2019. The share of social spending increased from 39 percent to 50 percent of the budget. Spending on culture will be increased by 37 percent and sports by 43.6 percent. Approximately 100 billion tenge (US$260 million) will be allocated for education and 14 billion tenge (US$36 million) will be provided for an increase in teachers’ salaries,” said region Akim (Governor) Kumar Aksakalov. 

The first DiVera Tomosynthesis Centre for early diagnosis of breast cancer opened Dec. 15 in Almaty, according to Kazinform. The centre, with the most advanced Fujifilm Amulet Innovality equipment, was provided as part of a public-private partnership in cooperation with the Ministry of Healthcare’s Kazakh Research Institute of Oncology and Radiology. “Tomosynthesis is an innovative method for diagnosis of breast cancer. It is able to detect a tumour the size of only a few millimetres. Unlike 2D mammography, it produces a number of thin-layer images from different angles to identify breast cancer in the early stages,” said the ministry’s chief oncologist Dilyara Kaidarova.

Forbes.kz reported 27,422 people participated in the Enbek programme to develop productive employment and mass entrepreneurship for 2017-2021, according to the results of a ten-month study in the Kyzylorda Region. Approximately 20,490 individuals are employed and 13,109, or 64 percent, have full-time jobs. Nearly 2,087 people enrolled in the short-term courses to learn in-demand labour market skills. After completing the vocational training, employment centres provide assistance to help graduates further their careers. Micro-loans were provided for 877 individuals, 642 received state grants worth up to 100 monthly calculation index (MCI) and 1,073 up to 200 MCIs, including youth, members of low-income and large families and those with special needs.