The system of health care in Uzbekistan is comprehensive and services are provided mainly free of charge. Yet the overall efficacy of the Uzbek system was still relatively low as of 2000. The public often used hospitals for primary care. In 1991, one quarter of the population was hospitalized annually; this figure declined to 12.9% by 1998. Health care reform objectives as of 2000 included improved quality of services overall and specifically in the areas of maternal and child health; promotion of privatization; and cost containment. Primary health care in rural areas is still provided by health posts staffed by physicians' assistants and midwives. In 2000, 85% of the population had access to safe drinking water and 100% had adequate sanitation. As of 1999, there were an estimated 3.1 physicians and 8.3 hospital beds per 1,000 people. As of 1999 total health care expenditure was estimated at 4.1% of GDP.
The infant mortality rate was 22 per 1,000 live births in 2000. As of 2002, the crude birth rate and overall mortality rate were estimated at, respectively, 26.1 and 8 per 1,000 people. The average life expectancy was 70 years in 2000. In 1994, 93% of children up to one year old were immunized against tuberculosis; 65% against diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus; 79% against polio; and 71% against measles. As of 1999, the rates for DPT and measles were, respectively, 99% and 96%.
Leading causes of death per 100,000 people in 1990 were communicable diseases and maternal/perinatal causes, 137; noncommunicable diseases, 601; and injuries, 65. There were 97 reported cases of tuberculosis per 100,000 people in 1999. The heart disease rates were well above the countries classified as "medium human development" by the World Health Organization. The likelihood of dying after age 65 of heart disease was 508 for males and 538 for females per 1,000 adults in 1990–93. At least 65,898 deaths were cardiovascular diseaserelated in 1993.