Assessment of public health services in Kyrgyzstan concludes that optimization and reinvestment are desirable

Kyrgyzstan has joined the ranks of more than 20 other countries across the WHO European Region that have assessed the essential public health operations in their country. Working in partnership with the Association of Public Health of Kyrgyzstan and WHO, the Ministry of Health embarked on the self-assessment in January 2016. The process culminated in April 2017, when 10 priority recommendations were presented during the joint review of the Den Sooluk National Health Reform Program. The 10 recommendations included one to develop a strategy and review relevant legislation for development and optimization of public health services, and another to identify the priorities for reinvesting any efficiency gains achieved back into public health services.

In response to the recommendations, the Minister of Health, Talantbek Batyraliyev, stressed the importance of further developing public health services to ensure that they have a tangible impact on the health of the Kyrgyz population. Jarno Habicht, the WHO representative in Kyrgyzstan, stated that "the partnership between the Ministry of Health and the Association of Public Health is commendable, and WHO stands ready to support Kyrgyzstan with the implementation of these recommendations".

The full 10 priority recommendations were as follows:

  1. Strengthen intersectoral action and develop an intersectoral strategy to address antimicrobial resistance.
  2. Develop capacity to assess emergency risk using new technologies such as geographic information systems to map sources of acute and dangerous infections and to rank them.
  3. Develop the national programme on labour protection and legislation to ensure intersectoral collaboration for the protection of workers’ health.
  4. Provide regular public education on healthy lifestyles through the country’s village health committees.
  5. Develop a national immunization programme with an action plan and budget for 2018–2022.
  6. Develop a national strategy and relevant legislation for improving public health services.
  7. Develop regulations to strengthen the responsibilities of graduates and employers to attract public health specialists at the primary health care level. Develop qualification requirements for public health professionals, as well as workload norms.
  8. Under the public health services strategy, develop a mechanism for reinvesting saved funds into the public health system.
  9. Develop guidelines on communication for the public health service, including for risk management.
  10. Review the mandate and title of the Scientific and Production Centre for Preventive Medicine and reorganize it into the Scientific Research Institute on Public Health to cover the entire range of public health operations.

Kyrgyzstan’s self-assessment of the essential public health operations was conducted under the biennial collaborative agreement between the WHO Regional Office for Europe and the Government of Kyrgyzstan for 2016–2017.