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Astana, Kazakhstan • 23 April, 2024 | 12:47

Kazakhstan Mandates Medical Workers' Insurance, Bans Vapes

The WHO representative in Astana praised the country's efforts in advancing the rights of the medical workforce

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On April 19, Kazakhstan passed a law to protect medical personnel and increase their accountability. In addition, the law also prohibits the sale, distribution, and advertising of smokeless tobacco and e-cigarettes, QazMonitor reports citing Akorda.

Medical community: The new law introduces errors & omissions for medical workers, alongside additional amendments to support healthcare workers. It will come into effect six months after its official publication.

  • The amendments grant medical workers priority access to preschools for their children, protection against unlawful interference or obstruction of their professional duties, and the option for mandatory military service in a medical specialty or deferment from military service.

  • Additionally, authorized bodies will now approve a list of required documentation for medical workers, aiming to reduce excessive paperwork.

  • Medical staff working in high-need specialties and serving in rural areas for at least five years will receive a one-time cash payment equivalent to one hundred times the minimum wage. In 2024, this amounts to ₸8,500,000 or $19,087.

Vape ban: The law bans the sale, distribution, and advertising of smokeless tobacco products, e-cigarettes, flavors, and liquids for them. It will come into effect 60 days after its official publication.

International response: The Head of the WHO Country Office in Kazakhstan, Skender Syla, praised the country's efforts in updating legislation to enhance healthcare and implement nationwide tobacco control measures.

Everyone is aware that when health is at risk, everything is at risk. It has been shown during the COVID-19 pandemic, where health and care workers have been real heroes, working day and night to save lives. That's why this legislation, from WHO's point of view, is very important. It increases the quality of health services by competent health and care workforce that is motivated and ready to provide needed care.

stressed the representative.
  • Additionally, Syla also highlighted another aspect of the new law – reinforcing tobacco control by banning smokeless tobacco products and e-cigarettes nationwide. The WHO representative emphasized that this action protects both the present and future generations in Kazakhstan from the harmful effects of these products.

Skender Syla (source: World Health Organization)
Skender Syla (source: World Health Organization)
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