On March 18, the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev held an open dialogue with healthcare workers.
The event was preceded by a long preparation, the opinions of doctors and the public were examined. More than 25 thousand appeals were received, 8 thousand of which concerned the personal issues and were resolved immediately. 17 thousand appeals were devoted to systemic problems.
In his speech, the President has outlined 7 areas of work developed on the basis of generalization and systematization of appeals. The first direction is making primary medical services closer to the population, the second is the development of emergency medical care, the third is the improvement of conditions at medical institutions, the fourth is material incentives for workers in this field, the fifth is the provision of hospitals with qualified personnel, the sixth is the promotion of the culture of healthy life in society, the seventh is the disease prevention.
The President has separately focused on each of the areas and put forward new initiatives.
For example, 55% of referrals relate to primary care facilities. In this regard, further expansion of the network of polyclinics on the ground has been determined.
In particular, makhalla (a local residential community area) medical centers will be organized at more than 2,000 remote and out-of-way areas. «A Rural Doctor» Program will be further improved and starting from May 1, 2022, an additional allowance of 2 million Uzbek soums will be paid to the monthly salary of doctors operating in remote and out-of-way areas. Henceforth, a doctor who has continuously worked in such areas for three years will be admitted to clinical residency without exams.
According to the second direction, a separate program will be adopted to improve the quality of emergency medical care and its accessibility to the population. First, the «103» ambulance service will be included in a unified management system at the level of the republic, region, city and district. Henceforth, the ambulance will serve not within the boundaries of the district or region, but the shortest distance to the patient. In 2022–2025, all cars of the model of «Damas» and other obsolete vehicles will be replaced by modern ones.
Over the past five years, about 2,000 health facilities have been built and renovated. This work shall be continued and the conditions will be improved at 1100 hospitals. The Digitalization Program for all areas of medicine, starting with primary care will be adopted. In the next two years, all medical institutions will be equipped with new computers, a paperwork shall be reduced, and modern methods shall be introduced.
As part of the fourth direction, the measures to support medical workers have been defined. From June 1, 2022, the salaries of medical workers will be increased by 15%, depending on the qualification category. The doctors performing complex high-tech surgeries will be paid a 25% bonus. Pre-employment screenings and regular health screenings will be free of charge for all healthcare workers.
The issue of staffing in this sphere is also relevant. 45% of doctors and 40% of nurses do not have a qualification category. Many medical facilities are understaffed.
In this regard, from the 2022-2023 academic year, quotas for admission to medical universities based on the state grants will be purposefully increased taking into account the real need for doctors in the regions. A targeted program of six-month specialized courses will be organized at medical universities in the most necessary narrow specialties in the regions. From now on, all medical colleges and technical schools will be assigned to medical universities.
According to the World Health Organization, 19% of human health depends on the external environment, 20% on genetic factors, 9% on the organization of healthcare and 52% on lifestyle. Therefore, the sixth direction is aimed at establishing a healthy lifestyle in society.
Starting from this year, a rating system for evaluating the effectiveness of medical teams, family medical centers and family clinics will be introduced. The medical workers with positive results will be encouraged. A separate badge «A People’s Health Guard» shall be established.
In the seventh direction, the tasks in the field of disease prevention are outlined. The medical system will be transferred to financing on the principle of «direct spending of funds on the patient». Until the end of this year, the system of medical insurance will be fully established in the Syrdarya Region, and in the coming years it will be introduced at all regions. A national health accounting system that enables to undertake a medical-economic and statistical analysis shall be introduced.
For each task set by the President, specific sources of funding, technical solutions and practical mechanisms have been identified.
«We stand ready to spend all demanded resources and efforts for the healthcare of our people. For me, personally, the health of our people is a top and precious. However, are we making the proper use of the focus on the medical field? This question makes me wonder a lot. The leaders of the industry should appreciate every Uzbek sum allocated, and all our people should feel their effect in their lives», the President said.
It was pointed out that corruption in the system should be completely eradicated.
«Not only the doctor’s robe, but also his heart and hands should be pure», the President said.
During the open dialogue, the health professionals shared their perspectives and suggestions on the challenges faced in their work. The President discussed the expressed views with experts and gave relevant instructions to the officials in charge.