Politics • 26 October, 2018

Improving quality of medicine: Bakytzhan Sagintayev discusses implementation of President’s Address with doctors of Almaty region

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October 26 as part of his working visit to the Almaty region, Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev met with representatives of the medical community in the region, discussed measures taken to implement the tasks set by the Head of State in the Address “Growing Welfare of Kazakhs Citizens: Increase in Income and Quality of Life” in the field of health care.

The issues of improving the quality and availability of medical services, increasing the salaries of doctors and nurses, developing human capital through creating conditions for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, introducing digitalization and deregulating the health sector were discussed at the meeting.

Opening the meeting, Prime Minister Sagintayev recalled that in a recent Address to the people of Kazakhstan, the Head of State outlined six key tasks for the Government to be implemented in the near future. The main goal of the new Address is to improve the quality of life of the population.

It was noted that the successful implementation of the President’s Address “Third Modernization of Kazakhstan: Global Competitiveness,” lead to the economic growth last year. The measures taken created the necessary conditions, and this year the Head of State decided to increase the level of incomes of the population. Therefore, from 2019 the minimum wage will be increased by 1.5 times: from 28 to 42 thousand tenge. Innovation will affect 1.3 million employees — their salary will rise to 30%; as well as 275,000 civil servants, whose incomes will increase by 35%.

For health care workers, namely district doctors and nurses, in 2019–2020 salary increases by 20%. These are 10,000 district doctors and 30,000 nurses. In general, for the further development of health care and education systems, the volume of public spending on these areas in the next five years will increase to 10% of GDP.

Sagintayev drew the attention of the meeting participants to the instructions of the President to increase the accessibility and quality of primary health care, especially in rural areas. The international conference held recently in Astana allowed to discuss the main directions for the further development in primary health care with representatives of the members-countries of the World Health Organization and other international associations. Among the participants were over 1,500 participants from 140 countries of the world.

Representatives of medical organizations in the region, in turn, spoke in support of the initiatives of the Head of State to increase salaries for health care workers.

The director of the Taldykorgan City Multidisciplinary Hospital S. Kusmoldanova noted that the 20% salary raise will boost the motivation of medical staff and increases the inflow of qualified personnel to the regional health institutions. Also, according to her, the introduction of digitalization, for example, electronic health passports, will improve the quality of medical services. The pediatrician of the city polyclinic №2 A. Zhumagaziyeva stated that the salary increase will have a positive impact on the image of doctors and the attractiveness of the medical specialty.

The deputy director of the regional cardiological center, cardiologist A. Shormakov said that thanks to the introduction of new technologies, mortality rates were reduced by 4 times compared to 2009, in the near future it is planned to achieve indicators of OECD countries. It should be noted that about 250 heart surgeries are performed here per year. In turn, the general practitioner of the Eskeldi Central District Hospital M. Tleuberdy spoke about the benefits of digitalization in the provision of prompt and quality medical care.

B. Ospanov, the director of the regional ambulance and emergency aid station, spoke about innovative approaches in work. According to him, the digitalization of workflows reduces the time needed to provide medical care, and allows, in a short time, to inform the doctor about the patient’s condition through an automated system. Thus, when a patient arrives at a medical facility, he immediately receives the necessary assistance.

“By the end of this year, it is planned to complete measures to equip workplaces with computers and connect medical institutions to the Internet to the district level. At present, in medical organizations, the availability of computer equipment is 94%,” said Ospanov.

Upon completion of the speeches of the medical community, akim of the region Amandyk Batalov reported that the region had begun implementing the Head of State’s instructions in terms of improving the quality of medicine. For the purpose of digitalization, funds are allocated from the local budget for inventory, certification, and equipping of health facilities with new equipment, and salaries of physicians are increasing. The main result of all these measures is a significant reduction in maternal, infant, child mortality, mortality from cardiovascular diseases, and tuberculosis.

Today in the Almaty region there are 811 health care institutions, about 20,000 health workers. In 511 medical organizations, there are 22 information systems. All regional and district hospitals have the internet access, computer provision is 94%, and 1,024 computers are additionally purchased to reach 100% supply in 2018. By the end of 2018, it is planned to complete the implementation of the Zhetysu medical information system and from January 1, 2019 to ensure the transition to paperless workflow.

In the framework of the Address “Growing Welfare of Kazakh Citizens: Increase in Income and Quality of Life,” primary health care workers who have introduced new disease management approaches will receive an additional 20% wage premium. In the region, wages will increase for 3,531 people, including a rural doctor — from 277 to 332 thousand tenge, a nurse — from 115 to 135 thousand tenge.

Summing up the meeting, Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev noted that in order to improve the quality of medicine, it is also necessary to develop the private sector. In particular, the need to mitigate the requirements for private medical organizations, as well as the development of social economy through the placement of government orders in private clinics.

Recall that the Government carried out comprehensive work on deregulating the health care system and creating the necessary conditions for doing business. In 2017, 29 obsolete and duplicate sanitary regulations in the field of healthcare, education and services were abolished. Requirements in checklists are reduced by 6.3 times and contain only requirements affecting the security of processes and services. In general, the number of business inspections reduced by 1.7 times. At the same time, the requirements for the recruitment and areas of medical institutions are revised.

This optimization has reduced the cost of building healthcare facilities by 30%. For the development of private entrepreneurship in the health sector, the number of requirements for facilities for the manufacture of medicines has been reduced by 4.6 times, providing dental services by 2.2 times, outpatient, consultative-diagnostic and inpatient care — by 1.4 and 1, 3 times. Along with this, work was done to eliminate duplicate requirements in other legal acts.

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