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Kyrgyzstan fears outflow of doctors to Kazakhstan, Russia 10 июня 2015, 19:15

Accession to the Eurasian Union is having a negative effect on Kyrgyzstan's healthcare system.
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Kyrgyzstan faces a outflow of highly qualified doctors and medical personnel to Kazakhstan and Russia after its accession into the Eurasian Economic Union, Tengrinews reports. The announcement was made by the Minister of Health of Kyrgyzstan Talantbek Batyraliyev during discussion of a state program reforming Kyrgyzstan&rsquos healthcare system.

The Minister pointed out that salaries of doctors in Kazakhstan and Russia were three times higher than those in Kyrgyzstan. With Kyrgyzstan being part of the open-border EEU, doctors from the country can get jobs in other EEU countries without needing to obtaining a work permit.

The agreement on accession of Kyrgyzstan to the EAEC was signed in December 2014 at a meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council in Moscow. On May 8 the leaders of the member-states of the Union signed the protocols to the treaty. On May 21 Kyrgyzstan finalized the ratification of documents on the accession into the Union. Now all the member states need to complete internal ratification procedures. 

"Even now, doctors living in the border areas are leaving to work in Kazakhstan. After fulling entering the EEU, we should expect a new outflow of highly qualified specialists. Therefore, the state should consider increasing salaries to physicians," said Batyraliyev said.

According to the Ministry of Health, there is already a marked shortage of doctors in Kyrgyzstan. In Bishkek alone, the shortage of medical professionals nears 15 percent.

The Eurasian Economic Union is an economic union of states located primarily in northern Eurasia. It was initially established by Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan and came into force on 1 January 2015. Later it was joined by Armenia and Kyrgyzstan. The Eurasian Economic Union has an integrated single market of 176 million people and a gross domestic product of over 4 trillion U.S. dollars. The EEU provides for free movement of goods, capital, services and people and follows common transport, agriculture and energy policies.

By Dinara Urazova

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