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Kazakh MP points to ineffectiveness of healthcare projects

08 october 2014, 13:38
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Gulzhana Karagusova. Photo ©Yaroslav Radlovsky
Gulzhana Karagusova. Photo ©Yaroslav Radlovsky

MP Gulzhana Karagusova, Chairman of the Committee for Finance and Budget in the Kazakh Parliament’s Lower Chamber Mazhilis, sounded quite frustrated at how ineffectively budget money in Kazakhstan was used.

During Nur Otan faction gathering held to discuss draft national budget for 2015-2017, Karagusova voiced her concerns. She spoke of agriculture, healthcare and education.

She mentioned that there was a problem of decaying school buildings and three-shift eduction at schools, of schools being built not in places there are needed at and of lack of consistency in the policies.

“Every year additional money is allocated but the number of accidents at school and the number of children getting three-shift schooling is growing. Moreover the schools are not being built where necessary. And it is going to continue this way, until the Ministry of Education has a clear idea of where the new schools are needed. (...) In the Ministry of Education, we are starting a program, spending money and without completing and analyzing it, we start another one," she said.

Judging by her statements however, it is healthcare which deserves particular attention.

MP Karagusova was outraged at the 9-year-long pilot program being implemented by the Ministry of Health. Namely, this is the Unified Healthcare System, which, according to the deputy, has been running as a pilot project since 2005. In total of 14.5 billion tenge has been allocated to support the pilot program, which is approximately $80 million.

"How much longer is it going to continue on in the testing mode? (...) Despite the huge amount of money, there is no talk of quality of medical services in Kazakhstan," Gulzhana Karagusova said.

She went further and said that officials were not effectively using budget funds when purchasing medical equipment.

"In recent years, much of the money was spent to purchase expensive (medical) equipment and create a unified health information system. But the ultimate goal of healthcare is to improve people's health through prevention of diseases. And this should lead to a dramatic reduction of the number of disabled people. (...) But what have we really got? One can get treated in a hospital only if he or her has an acute pain. Appendicitis, glands excised - go and enjoy yourself, Bob!" the deputy said.

"Take the (medical) equipment problem. We have no doctors who know how to use the equipment," he continued.

She then spoke of an anecdotal experience from her own life. This was when Karagusova had “very expensive medical tests” made for her grandson only to find out that “in our country no one could interpret” the results produced by the medical equipment. 

The MP continued by saying that the situation in the countryside was even worse. There, the newly purchased advanced medical equipment just stood unpacked.

“Why are we spending so much money then?" Karagusova finally asked.

Writing by Dinara Urazova, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina 


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