Health of the Nation

How sick leave days affect Kazakh companies

Regular days off can negatively affect not only the professional activity but also the employer resulting in economic damage.
Nur-Sultan24 July , 16:36

In the first quarter of 2019, in Kazakhstan the overall amount of medical services totaled at 306.6 million tenge, of which 7% or 21.4 million tenge were paid at the expense of companies. In comparison, 254.4 million tenge was spent on medical services in a given period of 2018, including 6.6% or 16.7 million tenge of the companies’ costs.

5.7 million tenge was spent on GP services during the first quarter of 2019. Experts suggest that the costs for medical services could be saved if the employees underwent regular medial check-ups. According to them, timely check-ups can scale down the number of sick leave days.

“Many misbelieve that proper nutrition and physical activities are enough for preventing diseases. However, regular medical check-ups are at the forefront of disease prevention. Find the time to at least once a year undergo a medical check-up,” MD prof. Chat Oktenli, a physician and head of the office check-up at Anadolu Medical Center, told.

During the 1Q of 2019, Kazakh small companies’ spending on GP services has stood at 1.7 million tenge, that of medium companies has been 1.2 million tenge and of large companies – 2.7 million tenge. The regions with the most spending are the Atyrau region (1.4 million tenge), Eastern Kazakhstan (1.1 million tenge) and the Karaganda region (899 thousand tenge).

According to the Harvard medical school, a healthy adult with a strong immune system gets sick 3 times a year on average. As of today, there are 9.2 million working people in Kazakhstan, and the average salary has made up 168 489 tenge for the 1Q of 2019.  So the company employing 10 persons can lose up to 691 650 tenge a year to pay up three days of sick leave given each is on medical leave 3 times a year, estimating that Kazakh companies may lose up to 638.3 billion tenge each year. Timely prevention and medical check-ups can reduce such costs.

The Kazakh National Economy Ministry’s Statistics Committee’s data indicate the widely spread diseases in Kazakhstan are respiratory illnesses, acute intestinal infections and diseases of the genitourinary system. Doctors warn that to prevent these diseases regular medical check-ups need to be promoted. To date, most Kazakh citizens visit doctors only after the disease has started or after complications.

“Many countries develop and carry out preventive programmes at the state level as they know that it is cost-effective to prevent or detect a disease over its treatment,” he told.

Prof. Chat Oktenli emphasized that some serious diseases including diabetes, coronary heart disease, malignant tumors, hypertonic disease have no clear symptoms and evolve discreetly. In order to fight them effectively, a comprehensive medical check-up is recommended to allow for timely detection and prevention at the early stages.