Drastic improvements in Kazakhstan oncology: increased financing and higher detection rates
Chief Oncologist of the Ministry of Healthcare and Social Development Kuanysh Nurgaviyev has reported on positive trends in the oncological situation in Kazakhstan and explained the increase in the number of new cancer cases, Tengrinews reports citing Kazpravda.kz.
“The Government's oncological policies have become more socially oriented. Starting from 2010, the budget of oncological services amounted to $51 million per year. Today, the budget equals to $172 million. We have increased the coverage of the population with the specialized treatment from 50% to 86.5%. We are fully financed by the state. As of today, 82% of patients are provided with expensive medications they need. Despite the financial crisis, the state continues to provide the required medication to patients,” Nurgaziyev said.
The doctor reported an increase in the number of new cancer cases. Iin 2013 there were 146 404 cancer patients in Kazakhstan, whereas in 2015 there have been 150 436 patients registered.
“The incidence is natural. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), by 2020 there will be over 20 million cancer patients registered worldwide. We should not be afraid of these numbers in Kazakhstan. The number of cancer patients increases with the increase of the average age of the population. Also, the number of cancer patients increased with the improvement of early detection of cancer. This allows us to provide simpler and more effective treatment to patients,” Nurgaziyev explained.
Kazakhstan has 6 screening programs for detection of cancer at early stages. Two of such programs – detection of breast cancer and cervical cancer – were initiated in 2008. These screening programs enable doctors to detect cancer on the 1st or 2nd stages. According to Nurgaziyev, the state spends $650 on treatment of breast cancer of the 1st stage while the 4th stage cancer requires over $145 thousand per case.
“In 2014, over 2000 cancer cases were detected. 30% of the the cases were 1st stage cancer and 57% were second stage. (…) The earlier we detect cancer, the easier it is to treat it. Our main goal is to decrease the death rate through increasing the five-year survival rate without lowering the quality of the patients' lives. We are working towards our goal,” he said.
In 2011 the state implemented a colorectal cancer diagnosis program. According to the WHO, colorectal cancer will take the first place by the incident rate. Since 2012, treatment of liver cancer, esophageal cancer and prostate cancer have been introduced in Kazakhstan.
By Gyuzel Kamalova, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina (Altynai Zhumzhumina contributed to the story)