The Macroeconomic Effects of Health Policy Reforms in Kazakhstan

Newton Fund: Institutional Links Programme between UK and Kazakhstan

While extensive evidence is available on how various health care policy reforms have affected the economies and social welfare of low, middle and high income countries, no similar research quantifying these effects currently exists for Kazakhstan.

Principal Investigator: Elias Mossialos
Researchers: Zlatko Nikoloski
Start Date: 01 April 2016
End Date: 31 March 2018
Region: Asia
Keywords: health financing reform, macroeconomics, welfare, health policy, health economics

‘The Macroeconomic Effects of Health Policy Reforms in Kazakhstan’ is a collaborative research project between LSE Health and the Nazarbayev University in The Republic of Kazakhstan.

The two-year project (April 2015-April 2017), funded under The British Council’s Newton Fund: Institutional Links Programme (award reference: 172703974), aims to provide a comprehensive analysis of the macroeconomic and welfare effects of on-going health financing reforms in Kazakhstan.

In efforts to reach universal health coverage, the Government of The Republic of Kazakhstan has recently announced its intention to introduce a compulsory health insurance scheme. This decision reflects a strong government commitment to ensuring universal health coverage for the entire population, including the poor and vulnerable, while simultaneously aiming to decrease the health care system's burden on the public budget.

Key aspects of the new insurance scheme have yet to be finalised, such as the type of insurance policies to be offered and premium cost levels. At the same time, it is not yet clear whether the revenues generated from the compulsory insurance scheme will be able to sustain universal health care coverage in the longer term.

This Institutional Links projects aims to address these questions through an assessment of different financing options for universal health coverage and an evaluation of the macroeconomic and welfare implications. Specifically, the project will consider the effects of health care policy reforms on Gross Domestic Product (GDP), savings, and overall consumption.

At present, most of the poor and vulnerable populations in Kazakhstan work in the informal sector and do not have health insurance coverage. This study will also evaluate to what extent these groups can be covered and the costs that will be incurred based on proposed coverage targets.

While extensive evidence is available on how various health care policy reforms have affected the economies and social welfare of low, middle and high income countries, no similar research quantifying these effects currently exists for Kazakhstan.

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