NUR-SULTAN – Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev visited the new branch of Almaty’s clinical infectious hospital named after Izatima Zhekenova during his working visit to the city on Sept. 25. The branch is designed to provide medical care to 500 people, the Akorda press service reported.
Tokayev met with medical workers and discussed the development of national healthcare, equipping hospitals with advanced technologies, upgrading hospital beds and infrastructure, and raising medical workers’ salaries.
“We will double the salaries of medical workers by 2023. The development of primary сare will be a priority. Unfortunately, we have neglected this area for too long. The pandemic revealed the misguideness of such actions. We should take our mistakes very seriously right now and work to fix them. We will be paying very close attention to healthcare,” he said.
He thanked the medical workers for their hard and selfless work in the fight against the pandemic and stressed the need to prepare for a potential second wave.
Countries around the world are reporting a spike in the number of coronavirus cases, which many predicted to occur in fall when the flu season begins.
The global death toll from coronavirus is close to reaching one million, while the number of infected stands at 32.7 million, according to the World Health Organization.
As of Sept. 28, Kazakhstan reported 107,775 COVID-19 cases and 1,699 fatalities, in addition to 32,490 coronavirus pneumonia cases.
Tokayev said that all resources must be mobilized to protect the country’s citizens.
“The global situation is complicated right now. There is a second wave of infections in Europe and the United States. In these conditions, we should remain vigilant and ready. We learned many lessons from the first wave and we will need this experience. Of course, it was hard and there were mistakes, including those made by the Ministry of Healthcare. We had to fix those mistakes in the process. But any experience, even the most bitter one, can be useful,” said Tokayev.
The visit, which was Tokayev’s second visit to Almaty after the stringent lockdown, also included meeting with the National Public Trust Council members Kairat Zholdybaiuly and Andrey Chebotarev.
The council is composed of 44 public figures, civil society, human rights activists and journalists. It was established in July 2019 with the main goal to “formulate suggestions and recommendations on the current issues relating to state policy based on a broad discussion that includes the representatives of society, political parties, and civil society.”
Tokayev and Zholdybaiuly discussed demographic policy, moral education, and the development of children’s literature.
During the meeting, head of Alternativa Center for Contemporary Research Andrey Chebotarev expressed support for Tokayev’s initiatives, in particular the policy regarding direct elections of rural akims (mayors).
“The first time I met the President was in June of 2018 at the annual meeting of the Kazakhstan Council on Foreign Relations, when he was chair of the Senate. It was nice that the head of state began his conversation with questions about my parents and my school. We also talked about the main trends in global politics. One could quickly tell that this was his area of expertise. The most important thing for me was to present my proposals on improving the strategic planning system, developing local self-government, and elections for rural akims to him. I have repeatedly voiced my concerns before but when the head of state personally gives instructions to take my work into consideration, its completely different feeling,” Chebotarev wrote on his Facebook page.