Kazakhstan people are ready to pay for medical services in spite of the problems in health care system

DEMOSCOPE Bureau for Express Monitoring of Public Opinion has conducted a public opinion poll to find out what people in Kazakhstan think about medical services and health care system of the country.

1 937 respondents from Astana, Almaty and 14 regional centers of Kazakhstan took part in the poll. 82% of women and 18% of men aged over 18 were interviewed. The maximum statistical error did not exceed 0.97% with 90% possibility.                                                                                                                                

The respondents were interviewed online and by phone between 21 and 30 December 2016.


The people of Kazakhstan are not satisfied with the current health care system. At the same time, the do not refuse to pay for medical services. 51% of the interviewed population think there should be free and paid medical services. And 65% scored three points to the state health care system, based on a scale ranging between 1 and 5.

38% of the interviewees living in Almaty and 36% – in North Kazakhstan region were mostly unsatisfied with the situation with health care system in the country. On the whole, only 2.5% of the respondents had no doubts about its excellence. Another 10.5% of the respondents emphasized positive aspects of the system, although mentioning that some serious problems appeared recently.

61% of the respondents marked lack of qualified specialists, the experts’ outflow to other countries and low quality of education as the main problems of the health care system in Kazakhstan. Among the other reasons were low wages paid to medical employees (14%), shortage and high prices of medicines (10%), as well as corruption in particular medical institutions and poor equipment (4%).

Taking the existing negative sides of the system, some part of the population tend to cure themselves. 23% of the respondents said they try folk remedies, search in the internet or ask their relatives. The leaders who share such opinion are mostly those aged 60-69 years old (29%) and those living in East Kazakhstan region (39%).

43% of the respondents still trust state medical institutions. The interviewees from Astana and Akmola region showed the highest level of trust in the state medical facilities (with 52% and 56% correspondingly).

At the same time, only 19% of the poll participants trust private medical centers that are mostly popular in South Kazakhstan and Atyrau regions. 30% in each of these prefer to go to private medical specialists .

On the contrary, 45% of the Kazakhstan people are sure that medical services should be free. In particular, over the half of respondents (56%) aged between 30-39 insist on this option. At the same time, 54% of the interviewed young people who are 18-29 years old think there should be both paid and unpaid medical services.

Since 2017, health insurance payments can become obligatory for self-employed citizens and employers of the Republic of Kazakhstan. 21% of the interviewees supported the initiative, while another 28% considered it as extra payments and have no tope for improvement of services quality. 23% of the respondents found it hard to answer the question.

14% stressed that health insurance payments should be voluntary. The same percent of people agree with the introduction of the initiative in case it will be well-organized.

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