The Global Conference on Primary Health Care “From Alma-Ata towards Universal Healthcare Coverage and Sustainable Development Goals” started today in Astana. Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan B. Sagintayev took part in the opening ceremony and the high-level session.

Ladies and gentlemen!

It is a great honor for Kazakhstan to host such a high-level Global Conference in Astana.

We are grateful to the World Health Organization, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) for their confidence placed in us to host the Global Conference in Kazakhstan.

Today we have 1500 participants, representing 140 WHO Member States, international organizations, the world's academic elite from all regions of the world - America, Europe, Africa, Southeast Asia, Eastern Mediterranean, and the Western Pacific Region.

Welcome to Kazakhstan!

The Global Conference in Astana is special. We are proud that the Alma-Ata Declaration, called the “Magna Carta for World Health” by the United Nations, was adopted 40 years ago on our soil. Its uniqueness is that for the first time in the history of mankind, all states officially recognized the equal right of people to health.

This is the main value to which the Republic of Kazakhstan aspires and about which our President Nursultan Nazarbayev spoke today.

Since gaining independence in 1991, we have made a breakthrough for universal coverage of our citizens with health services. Primary health care is one of the priorities of national healthcare.

During 27 years of Independence, we have created an extensive infrastructure of PHC facilities, which includes 1808 polyclinics, centers, dispensaries; increased fivefold and brought up to 40% the share of primary health care in the total financing of the entire volume of free medical care guaranteed by the Constitution of the country.

For the last 10 years, we have been focused on disease prevention. Each year, screenings cover about 2 million adults in the country.

In addition, vaccination is provided against 21 infectious diseases - this program covers 5 million people annually.

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The health of the nation and the accessibility of health care are fundamental priorities of our state and President Nursultan Nazarbayev. This is enshrined in the Strategy for the long-term development of the country until 2050, and is an important area in the framework of the Third wave of modernization of Kazakhstan.

The main goal is to build a modern health care system according to OECD standards.

Tasks are adjusted annually to achieve this goal.

In his recent Address to the People of Kazakhstan for 2019, President N. Nazarbayev set the goal of increasing spending on health and education to 10% of GDP. In the next three years, spending on health alone will be increased by 24%.

Special attention is paid to the availability of primary health care, especially in rural areas. From 2019, all clinics and hospitals in the country will switch to paperless, digital document management. From 2020, every citizen of the country will have an electronic health passport. In 2019, we will begin construction of the National Scientific Cancer Center in Astana.

A healthy nation is not only medicine, but also a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, the Government is implementing a special program to promote a desire for a healthy, active lifestyle, giving up bad habits. In the coming years, we will additionally build 100 fitness and recreation centers across the country, which will increase their accessibility to the population.

Such an increase in attention to the quality of healthcare is associated with the emergence of new challenges.

We see that the world is changing, and technological progress requires updating our views and finding answers to new challenges. First of all, this is a reflection of the new role of primary health care in managing diseases. Transfer of new digital technologies and innovations to the health care system. Personnel training.

We have advanced on this path. As a result of the joint efforts of the WHO Member States, international organizations, the academic community, a new Declaration on primary health care has been prepared.

The adoption of the Declaration at our Global Conference in Astana will set the direction for the development of primary health care as the basis of the health system of any country.

The new Declaration reflects the commitments of states, people and communities, health systems and partners in achieving health for all through sustainable primary health care.

The Government of Kazakhstan is grateful to WHO and UNICEF, governments and international nongovernmental organizations, to all who contributed to the development of the document.

We believe that the Declaration should be put on the global agenda – considered at the World Health Assembly in Geneva and presented at the high-level meeting at the UN General Assembly at the level of Heads of State in September 2019.

The new Declaration is the will of the united nations to continue the strategy of a strong primary health care system in the 21st century.

Dear participants of the conference!

I am convinced that the Global Conference in Astana will provide answers to a wide range of issues. Kazakhstan is open to dialogue and ready to interact. I wish you successful work and fruitful cooperation!

www.primeminister.kz

Published: 25 October 2018

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