Healthcare in Algeria
Healthcare in Algeria is not up to the standards that many expats may be used to, with public healthcare provision badly underfunded and hindered by bureaucratic obstacles. While services are adequate in the major cities, such as Algiers or Oran, healthcare provision in remote areas is poor to non-existent.
Public healthcare in Algeria
Public healthcare is provided free to all Algerians. Due to budgeting and bureaucratic issues, the standards of public healthcare in Algeria remain poor. The majority of medical staff will speak French, with English not widely spoken.
Expats working in Algeria have access to free public healthcare via the social security system. The employer is responsible for registering their foreign staff and monthly contributions will be paid by the company as well as deducted from the employee’s salary.
Private healthcare in Algeria
Private healthcare provision is steadily growing in Algeria and standards are generally higher than within the public domain. Due to local staff shortages, private clinics are often staffed by foreign medical professionals, and expats are more likely to encounter doctors who are able to speak English.
Private health insurance in Algeria
There is no existing private health insurance scheme within Algeria and expats should arrange comprehensive health insurance prior to their arrival in the country, especially if working in remote areas. This should include local emergency care and possible repatriation to a country with better health facilities.
Pharmacies in Algeria
Pharmacies are widely available in Algerian towns and cities and are a well-trusted source of medical advice. They are open daily during the week and then on weekends and evenings will be open in shifts.
It may be difficult to get prescription drugs of good quality in Algeria, especially beyond Algiers, so new arrivals should try to bring medication for chronic medical conditions in large quantities. Expats should bring copies of prescriptions in case of immigration or customs queries over the importation of medication, and should also consider bringing French translations of medical documents.
Health risks in Algeria
Heatstroke and dehydration are major health risks for expats due to the extreme heat in parts of the country. It’s important to stay well-hydrated at all times. Bottled water is recommended as the tap water in Algeria isn't drinkable. Sand and dust storms are also a health risk for those with preexisting respiratory conditions.
Emergency services in Algeria
In the case of an emergency, expats can dial 112 from a mobile, but operators may only speak French. Emergency response times may be slow, especially in remote regions. Expats should also have their embassy’s emergency number saved.