Inpatient care in Kazakhstan: A comparative analysis

Ainur B Kumar, Aigulsum Izekenova, Akmaral Abikulova


  • Background: Reforms in inpatient care are critical for the enhancement of the efficiency of health systems. It still remains the main costly sector of the health system, accounting for more than 60% of all expenditures. Inappropriate and ineffective use of the hospital infrastructure is also a big issue. We aimed to analyze statistical data on health indices and dynamics of the hospital stock in Kazakhstan in comparison with those of developed countries.
  • Materials and Methods: Study design is comparative quantitative analysis of inpatient care indicators. We used information and analytical methods, content analysis, mathematical treatment, and comparative analysis of statistical data on health system and dynamics of hospital stock in Kazakhstan and some other countries of the world [Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), USA, Canada, Russia, China, Japan, and Korea] over the period 2001–2011.
  • Results: Despite substantial and continuous reductions over the past 10 years, hospitalization rates in Kazakhstan still remain high compared to some developed countries, including those of the OECD. In fact, the hospital stay length for all patients in Kazakhstan in 2011 is around 9.9 days, hospitalization ratio per 100 people is 16.3, and hospital beds capacity is 100 per 10,000 inhabitants.
  • Conclusion: The decreased level of beds may adversely affect both medical organization and health system operations. Alternatives to the existing inpatient care are now being explored. The introduction of the unified national healthcare system allows shifting the primary focus on primary care organizations, which can decrease the demand on inpatient care as a result of improving the health status of people at the primary care level.
  • Key words: Comparative study, hospital beds, hospital stock, inpatient care, public health

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