If the health-care debate in the United States seems complicated, then try looking at what’s going on in Kazakhstan.
During the Soviet era, almost everyone worked for the government. But following the collapse of Communism in 1991, opportunities for private-sector employment arose across the former Soviet republics. Dariga Chukmaitova, a doctoral candidate at Claremont Graduate University's School of Politics and Economics, is taking measure of how the public-to-private transition is going by examining Kazakhstan’s health-care sector. She presented some of her findings earlier in November at a seminar at George Washington University’s Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies.
It would seem that making the jump is not so easy for many medical professionals in Kazakhstan. Drawing upon a survey conducted this spring of approximately 1,000 practicing physicians working in both the public and private health care sectors from nine Kazakhstani regions, Chukmaitova analyzed the individual incentives physicians have for switching sectors, and their perceptions of perceived risks.
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Richard Weitz is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington, DC.