ASTANA. KAZINFORM - Kazakhstan is working on a program that will help develop medical tourism in the country, Minister of Healthcare Yelzhan Birtanov said at a press conference at the Government on Thursday. "As for medical tourism, this is a new direction for us. We've decided that it will be one of the directions within the framework of modernization of the national healthcare system. It is expected to bring economic benefits and support local medical institutions. Presently, nearly 8,000 foreigners undergo treatment in Kazakhstan," Minister Birtanov said. According to the minister, those are mainly foreigners temporary residing in Kazakhstan and those who need emergency care. "However, there have been some 300 cases of planned hospitalization in the cities of Astana and Almaty. Currently, we are developing a program that will help develop medical tourism with the special focus on high technology services. We believe Kazakhstan has a great potential in that respect. We will continue this work in the future," he added.