Patient Expectations in Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan, a former Soviet bloc country, is in Central Asia. The country is large; its borders touch Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and a big swath of the Caspian Sea. Although Kazakhstan gained its independence in 1991 and is now officially a democratic republic, vestiges of Soviet control are still in evidence—even in healthcare.

In western countries, healthcare has largely shifted away from a doctor-centric model to a patient-centric model as consumers increasingly reject the paradigm of healthcare being delivered solely on the practitioner’s terms. Patient expectations have shifted dramatically.

Such is not the case in Kazakhstan. The authors of Patient-Centered Beliefs Among Patients and Providers in Kazakhstan  surveyed practitioners and patients in one hospital in the capital city of Astana and found that an overwhelming majority of doctors, nurses, and patients identified as doctor-oriented. The article provides an interesting discussion of possible reasons behind this shared perception.

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