On November 6, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev chaired a videoconference meeting to discuss ways to improve the system of primary healthcare and promote healthy lifestyle among the population.
The session began with the analysis of pressing issues in the activities of rural medical centers and family polyclinics. In 2019, about 60 percent of deaths were caused by cardiovascular disease that could be prevented by primary care. In half of patients with oncology, the ailment is detected after the second or third phase. Due to the poor quality of primary care, the population goes directly to central hospitals.
All this is as a result of the lack of proper conditions, the imbalance between the volume of work and the real capabilities of medical personnel. Thus, the duties of a general practitioner of a rural medical station (RMS) include diagnostics and treatment of 146 types of diseases, primary diagnostics and issuance of directions for 213 kinds of illnesses, as well as a wide range of duties for rehabilitation, medical examination and prevention.
In this regard, the President stressed the need for a radical revision of the system of medical care in RMSs and family polyclinics, the tasks and functions of doctors and mid-level staff.
The primary goal is the transformation of general practitioners into family doctors on the basis of advanced foreign experience. To facilitate their activities, medical teams for therapy, pediatrics, obstetrics and patronage will be organized. These units will work with the families assigned to them on the basis of a specially compiled map. The health status of the population will be assessed and an electronic database created. For this, gadgets and mobile diagnostic tools will be provided to medical teams.
Children under 5, pregnant women, those of reproductive age and over 35, as well as people over 40 years old will be covered by constant observation and regular screening examinations. Individual patronage will be established for people in high-risk groups.
From now on, directions for free medical care and prescriptions for free drugs will be issued by family doctors. Their work will be stimulated depending on the health indicators of the mahalla residents.
Responsible officials were instructed to gradually introduce this system in cities and regions, retrain medical teams based on best practices, develop assessment criteria and a procedure for encouraging the activities of family doctors.
The meeting participants analyzed in detail the issue of staffing. In rural medical stations and family polyclinics, there are more than 20 thousand doctor positions, but only 12 thousand of them are staffed. Since the profession of a general practitioner is not attractive to medical institution graduates. There is no incentive system for employees, and due attention is not paid to improving their skills and career growth.
In this respect, Shavkat Mirziyoyev stressed the need to attract graduates to RMSs and family polyclinics by creating decent conditions for them.
To this end, the Rural Doctor program will be introduced for the primary healthcare system in remote areas. Under this program, primary healthcare workers in far-off places will be provided with a one-time allowance in the amount of 30 million soums, as well as service housing or rent reimbursement.
The head of our state gave instructions to increase the quota in medical higher education institutions, having determined the need for doctors in the context of mahallas, and attaching priority to primary care specialists when allocating mortgage housing.
Building on the needs of the population, 100 rural medical stations and 24 family polyclinics are intended for establishment next year.
Based on the example of the Syrdarya experience, the tasks of each layer of the healthcare system will be clearly defined and state-guaranteed packages of medical services and medicines will be developed. To finance the packages, state health insurance mechanisms will be introduced and a separate fund will be created.
The President noted that one physician spends 60 percent of the working day completing 10-15 paper reports. The task was set to digitize this process.
According to WHO estimates, healthcare is a factor contributing only 10 percent of human health. Genetic factors account for 15 percent, the environment – for 20 and, crucially, lifestyle provides for 55 percent of human health. The coronavirus pandemic has once again shown how dire the consequences of unhealthy lifestyle are.
“We must all realize that proper nutrition and physical activity are key to preventing many diseases and saving human lives,” the President said.
Shavkat Mirziyoyev emphasized that primary care workers should promote the benefits of proper nutrition and physical education among the population.
Analysis shows that 40 percent of women are deficient in folic acid and iron, and 55 percent of children under 5 have iron deficiency anemia. 70 percent of preschool and school children suffer from intestinal parasitic diseases.
Therefore, from June 1 next year, vitamins and micronutrients will be provided free of charge to children under 5 years old, antiparasitic drugs to kids under 10, iodine preparations to pregnant women, nursing mothers and children under 15, folic acid and ferrum to women under 35 years old. These medicines and vitamins will be distributed by family doctors.
It was emphasized at the meeting that in each region, treatment institutions should be created with the involvement of the private sector and taking into account the specifics of the region itself.
For example, in Ferghana and Syrdarya, respiratory diseases are most often recorded, endocrine ailments are frequent in Kashkadarya, gastrointestinal ones in Tashkent, in Andijan it is cardiovascular illnesses, while in Karakalpakstan and Khorezm the locals suffer most often from kidney diseases.
Shavkat Mirziyoyev urged the executives to set up branches of leading foreign clinics in the regions in the indicated areas of medicine, attracting the private sector to these endeavors.
The President suggested that it is essential to establish communication between 17 republican specialized medical centers and local treatment institutions, to develop experience exchange using telemedicine, to open regional branches of specialized centers based on the type and dynamics of diseases.
Noting that today’s video conference is taking place on the eve of the Day of Medical Workers, the head of state congratulated all representatives of the sphere on the holiday.
“The present time requires that we reflect on the problems that life presents us, and find their effective solution, even on holidays, festive moments. The healthcare system, like all other sectors, faces rather complex challenges. Since medical professionals who consider themselves responsible for human health, it becomes a vital goal to constantly improve knowledge and skills, master new technologies and methods of treatment. I am convinced that you, admirable successors of our great ancestors like Abu Ali ibn Sino, heirs of the bright traditions of the Uzbek medical school, fulfill your noble mission with honor by organizing activities based on high criteria,” the President said.
Development of the healthcare system, worthy assessment of the work of specialists in the field, training of qualified personnel, consolidation of scientific and practical cooperation with foreign medical centers and universities will be, Shavkat Mirziyoyev noted, in the heart of constant attention of the state.
From the first days of the pandemic, it was emphasized, over 100 thousand medical workers have been mobilized to combat it, who, not sparing themselves, risking their own lives, are showing genuine heroism.
“I am sure that our doctors, acting selflessly and persistently, applying all their experience and knowledge, will cope with the tasks set today. They will direct all their efforts to safeguard the priceless wealth, that is, the people’s health,” Shavkat Mirziyoyev summed up.
At the meeting, officials in charge of the sphere, regional hokims, heads of medical centers and universities voiced their proposals on the issues discussed.