Health care in central Asia (2002)



Edited by Martin McKee, Judith Healy and Jane Falkingham
Published by Open University Press
European Observatory on Health Care Systems series
2002, 222 pages
ISBN 0 335 20926 2 (Paperback) £22.50
ISBN 0 335 20927 0 (Hardback) £65.00

Central Asia remains one of the least known parts of the former Soviet Union. The five central Asian republics gained their unexpected independence in 1991. They have faced enormous challenges over the last decade in reforming their health care systems, including adverse macro-economic conditions and political instability. To varying extents, each country is diverging from a hierarchical and unsustainable Soviet model health care system. Common strategies have involved devolving the ownership of health services, seeking sources of revenue additional to shrinking state taxes, ''down-sizing'' their excessive hospital systems, introducing general practitioners into primary care services, and enhancing the training of health professionals. This book draws on a decade of experience of what has worked and what has not. Part 1 looks at the context of the health care systems in the central Asian republics, Part 2 at their health systems and services in general, and Part 3 each country’s health care system in turn.

It is an invaluable source for those working in the region and for others interested in the experiences of countries in political and economic transition.