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[Perspectives] Yelzhan Birtanov: leading Kazakhstan to universal health coverage

Although only a child at the time, Yelzhan Birtanov, Minister of Healthcare of Kazakhstan, remembers the landmark 1978 Alma-Ata conference. His physician parents were attendees. “I recall doing drawings with the pens that they brought back from the meeting, and looking at a lot of photos of the conference; even as a young child, it was clear that something major was taking place in my country”, he says.