Healthcare information for expatriates living in Central Asia
Central Asia consists of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. These countries lie at the crossroads between Asia and Europe. For many years, Central Asia was a lesser-known part of the former Soviet Union. Even after independence in the year 1991, the region faced challenges. The region was having difficulties in terms of rebuilding its nation, creating new constitutions, and setting up the government.
Moreover, Central Asia is also confronted with its current health systems. It does not meet the standard of today’s needs and its unaffordable. However, there is a push for urgent reformation of Central Asia healthcare. The CDC has health information, especially on vaccinations for travelers and expats on all five countries.
Healthcare Systems in Various Central Asian Countries for Expatriates
Understanding Central Asia Healthcare System for Expatriates
All five countries in Central Asia inherited a Soviet model of healthcare. It means citizens get universal access to a basic level of care. But it has many drawbacks. The healthcare organized in Central Asia stifled the development of independent policy-making. It resulted in difficulties in implementing changes. The republican ministries of health centrally administered health services. It was done through regional health departments and further administrations at city and district levels.
The rural areas take a massive hit, as its staff and midwives only have basic medical training. Furthermore, there are no general practitioners, only physicians. Besides, most rural hospitals only have 20-30 beds with limited facilities and treatment capacity. On the other hand, each district has a central town hospital that offers primary care. In the capital cities, there are more prominent hospitals that provide more advanced and specialized treatment. Central Asia retains most of the formal hierarchical system. However, facilities and infrastructure are deteriorating due to poor investment.
But in recent years, Central Asia went through a transition. By switching to a market system, healthcare is now financed by three primary sources. There are out-of-pocket financing by residents, general budget financing, and social health insurance systems. It is important to note that there is a practice of informal payments and bribes when it comes to healthcare. Additionally, there is no subsidy for medicines. Hence, there is a financial burden on residents, primarily low-income households.
Emergency Assistance in Central Asia:
Health Insurance for International Citizens in Central Asia
Overall, Central Asia is still developing in terms of healthcare. If you are an expat, digital nomad, and international citizen, we advise you to get comprehensive international health insurance. It is also vital to include emergency evacuation to mitigate any unforeseen out-of-pocket payment.