The covid-19 pandemic highlighted the need to develop healthcare in Kazakhstan, in particular by increasing the number of healthcare facilities, modernising the existing ones and providing them with modern equipment, and by improving skills of healthcare personnel.
The major state healthcare programme that sets goals for the local healthcare authorities is the national project known as 'Healthy Nation' (the National Project), which aims to provide 'high-quality and affordable healthcare for every citizen'. It was approved on 12 October 2021 and is to be implemented from 2021–2025.
The financing required for implementation of the National Project is US$8 billion. Owing to lack of budget to cover this expense, Kazakhstan is exploring ways to attract private financing, including foreign investment and foreign borrowing, for implementation of its healthcare infrastructure projects. Strategy Kazakhstan 2050, which is the main long-term strategy document of the state planning system, specifically refers to public-private partnership (PPP) as one of means to assist in the development of local healthcare.
The healthcare economy
The National Project was developed to replace the previously adopted State Program for Healthcare Development for 2020–2025 and along with Strategy Kazakhstan 2050 and other soft law instruments forms a part of the 'documents of the system of national planning'.
According to the National Project, the major outcome by 2025 should be as follows:
1. attraction of US$1.741 billion of private investment;
2. creation of 13,000 new jobs;
3. increase the number of local pharmaceutical products by 50 per cent;
4. increase the life expectancy of citizens to 75 years; and
5. increase the level of satisfaction of the population with the quality of medical services to 80 per cent in 2025.
The National Project envisages, inter alia:
1. modernisation of at least 40 healthcare facilities and two scientific centres;
2. construction of eight children's rehabilitation centres and two early intervention centres;
3. launch of at least 30 new production facilities for the production of medicines and medical devices;
4. attraction of transnational companies from among the world's leading pharmaceutical manufacturers; and
5. construction of sports facilities, including: stadiums; sports and recreation complexes; swimming pools; other sports facilities and appropriate infrastructure.
Author: Lola Abdukhalykova, Counsel, Kazakhstan, Almaty.