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Kazakhstan 2014 | HEALTH & EDUCATION | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Saule Jundubayeva, General Director of Interteach, on modernizing it facilities, the general standard of the healthcare sector, and mandatory healthcare insurance.

Saule Jundubayeva
BIOGRAPHY
Saule Jundubayeva is General Director of Interteach.

How is Interteach modernizing and expanding its medical facilities?

It is being done within the framework of transferring the government's clinics from the Ministry of Health—polyclinics and medical establishments. We are participating in this collaboration, and are prepared to take it upon ourselves because we have a great deal of experience in managing the networks of our own clinics. We aim for a world-class level of quality. To this end, we are conducting the accreditation of our own medical clinics with international accreditation organizations that have rating systems and agencies. We are seeking partnerships with international companies, in particular medical services enterprises. We are joining with them to offer a wider range of services, as well as to bring in their expertise and experience. It is clear that the industry is changing rapidly, with advances in medical equipment being made constantly. Therefore, it is important that we stay abreast of all these changes and developments. We are now updating our automated security system of so that we can offer a higher quality level of services, and of course we are training our personnel, meaning that they can operate the new equipment and integrate the new products seamlessly. Training and internships are also to be provided in collaboration with the government on the basis of an official partnership.

How do you perceive the general standard of medical services in Kazakhstan, and how can they be further improved upon?

The healthcare situation in Kazakhstan is much better than it was 20 years ago. The positive impact of reforms has been demonstrated by a great many indicators, and there has been a significant amount of attention paid to the personalization of services to an individual's needs. During 2012, a state program was implemented involving all clinics in every region of Kazakhstan. The result of this was a decrease in indicators, such as the overall mortality rate and the infant mortality rate. As concerns the attractiveness of Kazakhstan to investors, it has been noted that the country is an attractive place to work, particularly for medical personnel. Interteach has about 15% expatriate staff, who have come here to seek new opportunities, which is proof they are indeed here to be taken. Moreover, it is clear that the government is prepared to cooperate closely with the private sector in the healthcare field. This is a good sign because we will definitely be able to help the government in reaching international quality standards within a short period of time. It will be possible to see the establishment of a national healthcare center that will be able to compete with the most well-known international clinics. At the new center, specifically with regard to international specialists, the expatriate ratio is at least 50%.

How will mandatory healthcare insurance affect Interteach and Kazakhstan's health sector?

Over the next three years, this focus will include social services, the budget, and the government, and will have a positive effect on the population, especially in terms of the provision of services. In the medium term, there is a plan to institute mandatory health insurance, whereas up until now we had worked with voluntary health insurance plans. The model for mandatory health insurance had been discussed before, but never implemented. The government's budget has already been estimated to include this model, and it is expected to go into effect by 2015 or 2016. As for Interteach's medium-term development plan, we are working out the particulars of that right now. We are planning to start up a partnership with a company that will not only attract capital and new expertise, but also improve services, and introduce new products and ideas. In order to establish firm motivation among our clients, we are considering a model of medical insurance—that is, medical services for the insured so as to get people interested in their own healthcare, not just for treatment, but also more importantly, for prevention.