Improving access to quality healthcare in the Kyrgyz Republic

By Nigina Mirbabaeva

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In Razzakov, a remote town in the north-eastern Batken region of the Kyrgyz Republic, good quality medical services are difficult to come by. Particularly for those with disabilities, accessing medical establishments that focus on therapeutic and diagnostic activities remains a major obstacle to prevention and rehabilitation.

But Aizada Hamdamovna is changing the healthcare landscape. A neurologist by training, Aizada is the owner of Neurocenter Tonus, which provides diagnostic and rehabilitation services to children and adults with neurological disorders.

With EBRD support, Aizada has digitised her business’s operations, making it quicker and easier for vulnerable people to access her clinic’s services.

A growing business

Although a doctor with more than 20 years of experience behind her, Aizada is a newcomer to the business world.

“When I started treating patients in Razzakov in 2014, we were based in a rented space. We offered only outpatient treatment and had no beds, but there were so many patients that needed care and who came from afar that we had to house people in our homes,” Aizada remembers.

In order to improve her medical practice and the treatment of patients, in 2018 Aizada opened a diagnostics centre and inpatient clinic with four staff members and a capacity of eight patients. By 2020 that capacity grew to 9 staff and 24 beds, and to cope with the growing number of patients, Aizada decided to open a second clinic in the western part of Razzakov.

The need for digital

Like the majority of medical establishments in the region, Aizada’s clinic conducted all of its recordkeeping on paper. This took considerable time and energy for the small team, particularly as the number of patients and the demand for their services continued to increase.

To make her new medical centre’s operations more efficient, Aizada sought to implement digital solutions that would ease pressure of her team.

With advisory support from the EBRD’s Advice for Small Businesses programme, funded by Switzerland via the Small Business Impact Fund (Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Norway, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, TaiwanBusiness - EBRD Technical Cooperation Fund and the USA), Aizada implemented a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, which ensured the clinic met modern service standards and prepared it for further medical accreditation.

“We are the first clinic in Razzakov to have a CRM system. It has significantly sped up the process of entering patient records into our database and made reporting and monitoring of our patients much easier,” says Aizada.

And, thanks to the new online booking system, Aizada’s team has better visibility of their schedules and clients are able to easily book all available medical services.

Now, the team can spend that time on more important things like their patients, who are, in turn, even happier with the service.

A 21st century enterprise

To become a truly modern medical establishment, Aizada also launched a website for her company and developed a digital marketing strategy with the EBRD’s support.

“We’ve never done any marketing of our services, as it was quite challenging and would have taken a lot of time. Now, with an established system, we are able to quickly use digital tools to raise awareness of our services and help even more patients in need,” Aizada says.

The result is happy patients and an efficient, caring team which stands out among the competition for its innovative edge.

But Aizada plans to go further.

To reinforce her clinic’s reputation as a pioneer of innovation, Aizada plans to introduce digital payment systems for her clients and make her clinic green.

“We want to take our clinic to the next level by installing solar panels and switching to renewable energy to position ourselves as true leaders. And we want to make it easier for residents of Razzakov to pay for our services, so we are now looking at rolling out digital wallets.”

This just goes to show how a nudge in the right direction at the right time has led to genuine innovation in how the residents of Razzakov receive medical care.

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