Kyrgyzstan addresses health personnel shortages


Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe met Dr Sabyrbek Jumabekov, Minister of Health of Kyrgyzstan on 14 March 2011

Dr Sabyrbek Jumabekov, Minister of Health of Kyrgyzstan, announced that doctors’ salaries in the country would increase by at least 100% from May this year, during a meeting with Ms Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe, at WHO/Europe on 14 March 2011.

This development is one of the initiatives the Ministry of Health is introducing to encourage doctors to begin and remain working in Kyrgyzstan. The country’s health system lacks medical personnel, meaning that new equipment cannot be used effectively and patient waiting lists are long.

Ms Jakab welcomed this development as part of broad health system reforms, and expressed WHO’s ongoing commitment to support the development of a national health strategy for public health in Kyrgyzstan.

The visit provided an opportunity for Dr Jumabekov to meet WHO/Europe’s directors and learn more about their programmes. He expressed his appreciation of WHO’s work and thanked Ms Jakab for an extremely useful discussion.

WHO collaboration with Kyrgyzstan

WHO’s work with the Ministry of Health of Kyrgyzstan currently focuses on four priority areas:

  • improving health system stewardship and financing;
  • strengthening the efficiency, quality and relevance of individual health services, emphasizing the leading role of primary health care;
  • creating a sustainable public health service, oriented towards the population’s needs and based on the integration of health protection and promotion programmes, wide intersectoral interaction, and the active involvement of the population; and
  • increasing the capacities and preparedness of the health system to assess and address environmental health determinants and respond to emergencies.

During the civil unrest in the country in 2010, WHO/Europe worked closely with the health authorities in Kyrgyzstan and other organizations, coordinating efforts to address the health needs of people affected, and generating resources for health services.