Politics • 25 October, 2018

Bakytzhan Sagintayev: Health of people and accessibility of healthcare are the fundamental priorities of our country and President

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The Global Conference on Primary Health Care “From Alma-Ata toward Universal Health Coverage and Sustainable Development Goals” started October 25 in Astana. The opening ceremony of the conference and the high-level session was attended by the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Bakytzhan Sagintayev.

Dear ladies and gentlemen!

It is a great honour for Kazakhstan to host such a high profile Global conference in Astana.

We extend our appreciation to the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) for the trust extended to us to hold the Global Conference in Kazakhstan.

Today we host around 1500 participants as guests, representing more than 140 WHO member states, international organizations and higher reaches of academic life from all regions of the world - America, Europe, Africa, Southeast Asia, Eastern Mediterranean and Western Pacific.

Welcome to Kazakhstan!

We are proud that 40 years ago the Alma-Ata declaration, which the UN named as “the Great Charter of Worldwide Healthcare”, was adopted in our land. The document is special, because all states for the first time in history have officially recognized the right of people to health.

This is the main value that the Republic of Kazakhstan aspires, and that was mentioned today by our President Nursultan Nazarbayev.

Since gaining independence in 1991, we have made a breakthrough in universal coverage of our citizens with healthcare services.

Primary healthcare is one of the priorities of our national healthcare system.

In 27 years of independence we have established a far-reaching PHC infrastructure that includes 1808 clinics, centers and outpatient hospitals; the financing share of whole volume of free medical aid, guaranteed by the Constitution of our country, has increased five-fold and reached 40%.

During the last 10 years we have been focusing our efforts on disease prevention. The screening annually covers 2 million adults of the country.

Moreover, we vaccinate against 21 infectious diseases — the program covers 5 million people annually.


Health of people and availability of healthcare are fundamental priorities of our state and President Nursultan Nazarbayev. This is envisaged in the 2050 Long-Term Development Strategy of our country, and is an important course within the Third Modernization Waive of Kazakhstan.

The main goal is to form a modern healthcare system in accordance with the OECD standards.

To achieve this goal every year we adjust our objectives.

In his recent Address to the Nation of Kazakhstan for 2019, President Nazarbayev has set forth the task to increase spending to healthcare and education up to 10% of GDP.

In the nearest three years only healthcare spending will be increased by 24%.

Special attention will be attached to the availability of primary healthcare, particularly in rural areas.

From 2019 all polyclinics and hospitals of the country will switch over to paperless, digital documentation.

From January 2020 each citizen of our country will have electronic health passport.

In 2019 we will start the construction of the National scientific oncological center in Astana.

A healthy nation is not just about medicine, but it is also about living healthy lifestyles. Therefore, the Government is implementing a specialized program on promoting among the population healthy and active lifestyle, and discarding unhealthy habits. In the nearest future, we will additionally construct 100 fitness and health facilities across the country that will increase their availability for population.

Such closer attention to the quality of healthcare is related to emerging challenges.

We all see it — the world is changing, and technological progress requires update of our views and responses to new challenges.

First of all, it is about comprehension of the new role of primary healthcare in disease management. Transfer of new digital technologies and innovations to healthcare system. Training human resources.

We have progressed in this direction.

As a result of joint efforts of the WHO member states and academia, a new Declaration on primary healthcare is drafted.

Adoption of the Declaration within this Global Conference in Astana will set new directions for development of PHC as a basis of healthcare system of any country.

The new Declaration reflects obligations of countries, people, communities, healthcare systems and partners to achieve healthy life through sustainable PHC.

The Government of Kazakhstan expresses its appreciation to the WHO and UNICEF, states and international non-governmental organizations, to everyone who have contributed to development of the document.

We believe that the Declaration must be promoted within global agenda — to be considered at the World Health Assembly in Geneva, and put forward at the UN General Assembly at the level of Heads of State in September 2019.

The new Declaration is a will of nations united to promote the Strategy of strong PHC in the 21st century.

Dear participants of the Conference!

I am confident that the Global Conference in Astana will allow us to find answers to a broad range of questions. Kazakhstan is open to dialogue and stands ready for cooperation. I wish you successful work and fruitful cooperation.

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