Medical centre in Kazakhstan demonstrates transformative role of hospitals in integrated, people-centred services

WHO/Juan Tello

Kazakhstan’s Medical Centre Hospital of the President’s Affairs Administration in Astana is a true testament to the transformative role of hospitals in working towards integrated, people-centred services. Since opening in 1997, the Medical Centre Hospital has worked to achieve international standards of quality and services management, as well as leadership in treatment, diagnostics and rehabilitation for the local community and the country at large.

Globally, hospitals are now facing the challenge of overcoming traditional silos to become more responsive to multimorbidities, engage patients in care and work in partnership with communities. The Medical Centre Hospital models this evolving role of hospitals through its new geriatric department, healthy lifestyle services and check-up programmes, and through its focus on preventive services including monitoring, screening and the mitigation of risk factors.

The Medical Centre Hospital has also placed a focus on high-tech diagnostic services for high-precision results. It also plans to introduce a new project to strengthen the role of family doctors working in coordination with specialists, guided by its vision of multiprofile, patient-oriented services.

During a week-long mission to Astana on 14–18 May 2018, officials of the WHO Country Office and the WHO European Centre for Primary Health Care in Almaty visited the Medical Centre Hospital to see firsthand the initiatives taking place there. The WHO European Centre for Primary Health Care actively supports ongoing primary care and hospital reforms led by the Ministry of Health.

Global agenda on transforming hospitals

Working towards a fresh view on the position, role and functioning of hospitals, WHO established an interregional hospital task force in 2017. The group explored this topic in a joint WHO position paper on the role of hospitals and universal health coverage.

On 21–22 June 2017, the WHO European Centre for Primary Health Care hosted an interregional meeting of the task force in Almaty. On 23 June 2017, it convened a global hospital day in the context of the fourth annual meeting of Integrated Health Services Delivery Focal Points in the WHO European Region.

In 2017, a series of hospital case studies on Germany, Portugal and Sweden were launched to develop in-depth examples of the role of hospitals in making progress towards integrated and people-centred services. This work stream aims to continue to highlight and share the innovative role of hospitals in communities.