The Federation of Trade Unions is preparing a package of proposals to determine the status and protect the rights of medical workers

Chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan Satybaldy Dauletalin took part in the round table “Legal protection of medical workers of the Republic of Kazakhstan”, held by the FPRK member organization – the Industry Trade Union of Medical Workers QazMed in Astana.

Leading experts in the field of medicine, chief physicians of capital clinics, representatives of professional associations and members of primary trade union organizations gathered to discuss issues of protecting the rights and interests of medical workers. Opening the work of the round table, Aliakpar Matishev, chairman of the QazMed Branch Trade Union of Medical Workers, spoke about the activities of the medical trade union. QazMed was established in 2015 and in 2019 became part of the Federation of Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

“An industry agreement was adopted for 2023-2025, from January 2023 the multiplying coefficient was increased from 1.15 to 3.32 in the wage system, wage indexation is provided, the duration of paid leave for medical workers has increased,” said Aliakpar Matishev.

Welcoming the participants of the event, the Chairman of the FPRK Satybaldy Dauletalin noted that the Federation itself and its member organizations – trade unions of the industry keep under control the protection of social and labor rights of Kazakhstani workers, including in the field of medicine. “I would like to thank our healthcare workers for the feat they have accomplished during the COVID-19 pandemic. Trade unions have made every effort to support medical workers. Thanks to the initiatives of the Federation of Trade Unions and its affiliates, supported by the Government, salary supplements depending on the category were paid to all medical workers, including auxiliary personnel of health organizations. Today, the medical trade union community includes more than 300 thousand members of the trade union, most of whom are employees and, accordingly, need to protect their social and labor rights and interests. This concerns issues of social status, guarantees, wages, professional liability insurance issues, fair legal protection of medical workers. We believe that every medical worker should have guarantees enshrined in law,” Satybaldy Dauletalin said. In turn, Yelzhan Birtanov, adviser-consultant of the QazMed Sectoral Trade Union, noted that the legal protection of medical workers does not concern a separate industry, but the whole society. And in this a special role is assigned to the trade unions.

“Trade unions have a huge potential for the development of the medical industry. The issues of protecting healthcare workers are not just a job for us, it is life itself. It is necessary to revive the industry culture in medicine and improve the legal framework for protecting the interests of the medical community,” Yelzhan Birtanov shared his opinion. By the way, the issue of improving the legal protection of medical workers is not raised for the first time, but it has become especially relevant recently, when cases of attacks on ambulance doctors and even murders of medical workers in the workplace have become more frequent.

The President of the country Kassym-Jomart Tokayev drew the attention of the society to the problems of medical workers. Speaking at the public headquarters on the eve of the extraordinary presidential elections on November 20, 2022, the President noted that support would be provided to medical workers.

“We will continue to increase the funds allocated to the health sector. In 2027, its volume will reach at least 5% of the gross domestic product. In order to enhance the prestige of the medical profession, their status will be fixed by law. Comprehensive support will be provided to medical workers,” Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev said on October 26 last year.

Currently, the working group in the Parliament is discussing the draft law “On amendments and additions to certain legislative acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan on health issues.” Earlier, its developers, represented by representatives of the Ministry of Health, stated that the draft law is aimed at raising the status of medical workers, protecting the rights of patients and improving the quality of medical care. At the same time, in order to implement the state-guaranteed rights for patients to compensation for harm, it is necessary to gradually introduce a system of compulsory (imputed) insurance of professional liability of medical workers.

However, experts in the field of medicine do not agree with certain norms of the bill and insist on a nationwide discussion of this project. One of the main requirements of doctors is the decriminalization of medical errors, in particular, the exclusion from the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan of Article 317, which implies a different degree of responsibility of medical workers depending on the severity of the medical error – from fines to imprisonment.

Leading doctors of the country Zhaksylyk Doskaliyev, Sholpan Bulekbaeva, Dauletkhan Yesimov, Irina Pivovarova shared their vision of solving problems. Doctors noted that integration with trade unions will allow health workers to more effectively promote their interests.

Chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan Satybaldy Dauletalin supported the initiative of the medical community to work together to further improve the legislative measures for the social protection of medical workers. The head of the FPRK proposed to jointly develop a package of norms for determining the status of medical workers, decriminalizing medical errors and insuring the professional liability of medical workers to be included as additions to the draft law under discussion. By the way, a number of such initiatives have already been taken into consideration by the Federation of Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Media Center of the Federation of Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan