Algeria Healthcare System & Insurance Options for Expats
Picturesque Algeria is the largest country in the African continent. It is home to more than 35 million people. Furthermore, the Sahara desert covers 80% of the land, which makes it the second-largest desert in the world. With such geographic beauty, expats from all over the world come to Algeria.
Some of Algeria’s major cities have a decent healthcare system. While healthcare services in the rest of the country are essential, it is non-existent in remote areas. Global expats coming to Algeria are therefore advised to procure a good international health insurance plan so that they can seek prompt medical assistance whenever they need it. Additionally, these plans should ideally include top-notch local emergency healthcare services. It includes airlifting a patient to another country that has a better healthcare system if need be. You can seek more health-related information about Algeria by clicking here.
These are recommendations for anyone who plans to live in another country for any length of time. In Algeria, the common diseases afflicting local citizens as well as expats are typhoid, tuberculosis, malaria, and other ailments. It is due to the scarcity of clean drinking water and insufficient sanitation facilities. Malnutrition is another major problem that explains why many people in the country live below the poverty line. Algeria’s healthcare system has improved over the past few years. But it still lags way behind the average international medical standards as prescribed by the World Health Organization.
Overview of Healthcare in Algeria
The constitution of Algeria makes healthcare services and financial cover mandatory for every citizen of the country. Despite that, those living in remote areas continue to be deprived of adequate healthcare services. These people either have to make do with whatever the less effective local medical setups can provide or travel long distances to cities to avail better facilities. Some hospitals based in cities too lack sufficient staff and specialists for treating certain critical diseases. Patients with such dangerous ailments are usually flown to another country where that particular treatment is available.
The country’s private healthcare system has quickly evolved to make up for the abysmal public healthcare system that’s way behind international standards. However, these private facilities do not offer any benefits or policies that are accessible in public hospitals. Moreover, these private facilities are available in limited numbers in select cities, so not everyone benefits from them. The Algerian government is doing its best to bridge this gap and is developing new hospitals with better equipment and amenities around the country.
Algerian Healthcare System for Expats
Algeria’s national healthcare system is available for free for all the citizens of the country. In addition to that, there are two different government-funded medical schemes currently followed in Algeria. The first is CNAS, or Caisse Nationale de la Securite Sociale des Travailleurs Salaries, which covers about 73% of the country’s population. This scheme covers salaried employees as well as their dependents. There is also another medical scheme covering independent workers as well as their dependents.
Public Healthcare in Algeria
All citizens of Algeria have free access to the country’s public healthcare services. The country’s social security system also makes it possible for expats to obtain free public healthcare services. Their employers have to register them and make monthly contributions while deducting the same from their (employees’) salaries. It’s also worth mentioning here that most of the hospital staff speak French and not English. So if you can’t speak French, you may have to face some communication issues.
Private Healthcare in Algeria
The private healthcare system is costly, but these high charges allow the administration to maintain higher standards of healthcare as compared to those of public healthcare, and better quality equipment. Moreover, since there aren’t enough qualified medical personnel available in the country, these hospitals hire staff from other states, who can also speak English reasonably well. The emphasis on meeting international healthcare standards makes these private facilities the expat population’s first choice for medical treatment.
There is no private health insurance currently available in the country, which is why expats can instead obtain a comprehensive international health insurance plan to get the required cover as per their needs.
Emergency Services in Algeria
Those seeking emergency services in the country can dial 112. But you may again struggle to communicate as the people who handle calls speak French, and not English as their native language. Moreover, those who live in remote areas may have to wait longer for the ambulance to arrive. Private hospitals may have different ambulances, which you will need to check before calling for one.
Pharmacies in Algeria
People can purchase medicines from pharmacies in Algeria. However, those who need prescription medicines should bring their own before arriving in the country.
Best International Medical Insurance for Expats Living in Algeria
The overall healthcare system in Algeria is not yet up to the mark, and it will take a while before it can become good enough to match international standards. It is one of the primary reasons why expats must consider buying an optimum international health insurance plan before planning their trip to the country. Currently, the best international insurance company offering services in the country is Cigna Global. You can go through the plans they offer and figure out how those could fit into your needs before buying one for yourself. You may also want to check whether your policy covers emergency evacuation and emergency treatments in other countries.