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Medical tourism - growing sector in Kazakhstan

18 december 2014, 12:19
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Tengrinews file photo
Tengrinews file photo

The Ministry of Health and Social Development of Kazakhstan says that medical tourism in the country is on the rise, Tengrinews reports.

Director of the medical aid management department of the Ministry of Health and Social Development of Kazakhstan Gulnar Kulkayeva said that the number of countries from which patients come to be treated in Kazakhstan had increased significantly over the past several years.

According to Kulkayeva, the most popular services among foreigners, who visited Kazakhstan in 2013, were microsurgical removal of spinal disc herniation, in vitro fertilization, cardiac surgery on the valves of the heart and uterine artery embolization.

She said that the primary work on the development of medical tourism in Kazakhstan was done by subsidiaries of National Medical Holding JSC, where specialized medical care and tertiary care were administered.

"The clinics of the holding started treating patients from the United States, Japan, Italy, whereas previously there were only patients from Russia and Kyrgyzstan. In 2013, the services were rendered to 832 foreign nationals, including those working on the territory of Kazakhstan and those coming from across the post soviet space," Kulkayeva said.

According to the Health Ministry, a majority of medical tourists come from the United Kingdom - 260. The United States is in the second place with 111 patients. 51 medical tourists arrived from Kyrgyzstan and 50 from Turkey.

Additionally, there were 44 patients from Russia, 35 from Bulgaria, 23 from Sri-Lanka and 27 from the Philippines. In total, citizens from 31 countries obtained medical services in Kazakhstan.

"The most frequent pathologies encountered among our foreign patients are metabolic syndrome and type II diabetes," Kulkayeva explained.

The Ministry of Health said that the cost of operations in Kazakhstan was much lower than abroad. In particular, bone marrow transplantation in Kazakhstan cost $51,000. The same operation is done for $90,000 in Russia. A surgery on kidney transplantation cost $16,000 in Kazakhstan and $40,000 in Russia. Liver transplantation in Kazakhstan was five times cheaper than in Turkey, about $20,000.

Reporting by Alisher Akhmetova, writing by Dinara Urazova


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