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Astana, March 22: E-government and healthcare were on the government’s agenda at its March 19 meeting, chaired by the Prime Minister,Serik Akhmetov. “E-government” – accessing government services and making payments on the internet – is the way of the future. The Minister of Transport and Communication, Askar Zhumagaliev, the Minister of Education and Science,Bakytzhan Zhumagulov, and the Minister of Internal Affairs, Kalmukhanbet Kassymov, addressed the meeting on the state program, “Information Kazakhstan-2020”.

      The Ministers pointed out that there are already 90 government services online; citizens can make 21 different state revenue payments; 17 payments of duties on certain products; four different tax payments; and they can pay three separate domestic bills. They can also settle any fines imposed for traffic violations.

       In 2012 alone, nearly 11 million electronic receipts were issued. More than 230,000 citizens have already registered to use the e-government services; and the e-government portal is being visited daily by 30,000 people.

       All the necessary arrangements are in place for setting up online all government services for both business and social needs. Once these have all been transferred to e-format it is predicted that it will save the issuing of over 40 million paper documents each year.

      Next, the Minister for Healthcare, Salidat Kairbekova, reported on the results in 2012 of the State Healthcare Program,“Salamatty Kazakhstan”, and the tasks which lie ahead now. The Program covers the period 2011-2015, and is aimed at adapting the country’s healthcare provision to contemporary conditions.

      Ms.Kairbekova was able to speak of some notable successes for the Healthcare Program last year. Outlying areas now have improved healthcare thanks to “mobile medicine”: the creation of three special medical trains and 49 mobile health centers.

      Progress was made in the training of more family doctors, nurses and psychologists. Maternity care improved; over the last three years the death rate among mothers has fallen four-fold and that of infants by 25% Life expectancy rose from 69.01 years to 69.6 years in the course of 2012, meaning that the Program is in step with the government’s goal to reach a life expectancy of 70 years of age by 2015.

      In the coming year, the following areas are among the priorities for the “Salamatty Kazakhstan” Healthcare Program: improve still further maternity care; expand the accessibility of “mobile medicine”; wider availability of medicines; better use of modern medical technology; raise medical science to international levels; improve training of medical staff and management; integrate medical information into the state program, “Information Kazakhstan-2020”.

      In his summing up at the end of the meeting, Prime Minister Akhmetov called for ministers to ensure that by the end of 2013 all of the government’s social services are available online, and that the e-learning project continues to progress.

Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Japan©2013