Are you eligible to public health care in Algeria? What are the conditions and fees applied? Find out the answers to your queries in this article.
Algeria has a relatively developed health care system compared to many other African countries. So if you intend to move there, accessing to health care services should not be a major issue. You can choose from various hospitals and other health care institutions providing quite fair health care services. But you are also advised to subscribe to a health insurance with the assistance of your employer.
Health care system
Algeria's health care system consists of different structures, namely administrative, scientific and technical structures. These consist of the Health Department's head offices, the autonomous specialized structures, five health regions along with five Regional Health Councils, as many Regional Health Observatories, 48 Health and Population Directorates (one for each department), 13 university hospitals, 31 specialized hospitals, emergency service, national medical committees, the Medical Ethics Board, the National Science and Health Ethics Council in health sciences, health societies, as well as health professionals associations and unions.
Apart from these organizations, other dependent institutions also work under the aegis of the Ministry of Health, namely the National Health Documentation Agency, the National Blood Agency, the National Toxicology Center, the National Public Health School (NPHS), the National Educational Paramedical Training Institute, the National Public Health Institute (INSP), the Pasteur Institute of Algeria, the Central Hospital Pharmacy, health societies, paramedical schools, etc.
Access to health care
The public health care system consists of 185 hospitals and 13 university hospitals, not to mention polyclinics and health care centers. Moreover, the country hosts 91 functional clinics which can accommodate some 2,000 patients. Some clinics are also being constructed while others are still in the pipeline. Note that most physicians and hospital staff speak French, both at the public and private levels.
The public health system is financed by an inclusive State contribution, along with the National Employees Social Insurance Fund, that is the Caisse Nationale d’Assurances Sociales des Travailleurs Salariés, and family contributions. This is how curative and preventive health care in terms of consultations, medicine, hospitalization, etc., are provided. In the private health care system, however, health care services provided are taken in charge by the patient himself.
Finally, foreign employees in Algeria are also eligible for social security. But it is recommended that they subscribe to a private health insurance which will cover 80% of medical expenses incurred in public hospitals or health care centers.
Your employer should take care of your subscription to the Caisse Nationale d’Assurances Sociales des Travailleurs Salariés if you are working in Algeria. Thereafter, you will make a monthly contribution of 1.5% which will be deducted from your salary while your employer will contribute 12.5%. Note that all employees in Algeria are eligible for social security. But you can also subscribe for a private health insurance.
Quality of care
Health care services in Algeria are quite unequal and this has long been criticized by locals. In fact, there is a doctor for some 1,200 inhabitants and a single pharmacist for an average of 8,000 inhabitants. Moreover, practitioners are encouraged to refer patients to private structures for biological and radiological care, as well as for hospitalization. In fact, private clinics are better equipped for patients requiring advance medical care.
Nevertheless, free health care services are provided 24/7 thanks to contributions made by the government along with the population. Moreover, the Ministry of Health is currently focusing on prevention programs regarding communicable diseases.
However, with contributions by employees and employers to social insurance, free health care is provided in continuity. In addition, health facilities are present in all departments, enabling geographically coherent health coverage. Finally, the Algerian Ministry of Health focuses on communicable disease prevention programs.