Healthcare Resource Guide: Algeria





Market Entry

Current Market Trends

Main Competitors

Current Demand

Registration Process



Procurement & Tenders

Trade Events

Best Prospects

Statistics Snapshot

CS Contacts


Capital: Algiers

Population: 42.2 Million

GDP: $173.947 Billion

Currency: Algerian Dinar (DZD)

Language: Arabic – Tamazight - French


Algeria’s healthcare industry is still in its infancy, and the country relies heavily on imported goods. While the living standard of the population is improving, progress is slow, and in recent years there have been more and more reports of cardiovascular diseases, cancer, hypertension, diabetes, respiratory illnesses and allergies. The population is increasingly aware of cutting-edge medical procedures such as laser corrective eye surgeries, panoramic dental radiology, and plastic surgery. U.S. technology and products are regarded as high quality and reliable. Algerian demand for quality medical equipment and disposables is considerable.

Despite the government’s challenging fiscal situation, the percentage of the total national operating budget allocated to health was 8.5% in 2017, the highest percentage in five years. The Algerian Ministry of Health, Population and Hospital Reform is awarded the fourth largest portion of the national government budget. The 2017 finance law outlined a health budget of DZD389.1bn ($3.7bn). This was increased to DZD392.2bn ($3.8bn) in the 2018 finance law.

Algeria’s ineffective licensing of generic pharmaceuticals and lack of clear coordination between the Ministry of Health and the Patent and Trademark Office creates an uncertain environment regarding the registration and sale of brand name health products. Exacerbating this uncertainty is the recent ban on the importation of hundreds of foreign-produced pharmaceuticals. Companies should be aware that it is common to face delays of weeks or months for goods to be cleared by Algerian customs. In 2017, this problem has increased dramatically.

Human resources can be difficult to recruit, manage, and retain in Algeria, both at the skilled and entry levels, even as unemployment remains high. Most Algerians speak French and Arabic and lack English-language skills. Encouragingly however, the youth are tending to study English.

Despite these many challenges, the Algerian healthcare sector continues to grow. With a good deal of patience and commitment, there is considerable opportunity for American companies in Algeria.

Market Entry

An investment policy implemented in July 2009 requires an Algerian majority (51 percent) stake in any new foreign investment or foreign-owned business operation. The Algerian tax law was also modified in August 2008 to require foreign investors to re-invest within four years the value of any investment tax incentives received or face a 30-percent penalty.

Current Market Trends

The Algerian government continues to increase the number of products on the import ban list. They are also unlikely to renew agreements for liaison offices. This will force the pharmaceutical companies currently present in Algeria to create a legal entity with a local partner (their distributors) in accordance with the 51/49 investment law. Another option would be to invest in local production.

Main Competitors

France, Germany, UK, Denmark, Jordan, Netherlands, China, Sweden, South Korea

Current Demand

Medical equipment and devices

Laboratory equipment

Pharmaceutical products (not produced locally)

Registration Process

The registration of all medicinal products with the Algerian Ministry of Health is the most important pre-requisite to permit the marketing and distribution of medication in Algeria. Without registration, no medication can be imported or distributed in Algeria. However, it should be noted that there is no registration required for non-medicinal equipment (e.g. hospital devices).

On average, the Ministry takes at least 3 months to evaluate the dossiers and conduct lab tests.

Once the dossiers have been inspected by the Health Ministry and are deemed valid, a one-year provisional registration is granted. This provisional registration allows the product to be marketed and distributed in Algeria. Registration valid for five years may be granted only after the Health Ministry receives a positive report following technical/laboratory evaluation of samples.


As drug prices rise, consumer healthcare expenditure is increasing worldwide. The situation in Algeria is no exception. However, the Algerian reimbursement system is one of the most generous in Africa and Middle East as 90% (38 million people) of the entire population are insured.


Because of the drop in the price of oil, the GoA decided in early 2015 to ban from import the pharmaceutical products already produced locally.

Procurement & Tenders

Trade Events

Maghreb Pharma Expo

17-19 September 2018

Algeria Health Exhibition and Conference

5-8 December 2018

22nd SIMEM

10-13 April 2019

Best Prospects

  • Medical equipment and supplies - especially diagnostics, imagery and laboratory equipment.
  • Hospital and outpatient clinic design and construction services
  • Hospital and medical office administration software and solutions

Statistics Snapshot

Market Size

Healthcare spending (including investment)


... as percent of GDP

7.2% (2014) WHO

Hospitals, Procedures, Healthcare Professionals UN:

Number of hospitals

185 hospitals including 14 University Hospital Centers (CHU)


250 (2015)

... available beds per capita

1.7/ 1,000 (2004)

Number of surgical procedures

3,723/ 100,000 (2012)


1.48/ 1,000 (2017)

...of which surgeons

12.2/ 100,000 (2016)


10,621 (2007)



42,200,000 (2018)

Life expectancy men/women

74/78 (2015)

Infant mortality

19.6 deaths/1,000 live births (2017 est.)

Percent of population older than 65

7.17% (2012)

...projection, 2030

50,687,000 (2015)

Annual deaths

4.3/1,000 (2016)

Sources: WHO, Oxford Business Group, World Bank, CIA World Factbook


 U.S. Commercial Service Contact Information

Name: Jugurtha Rabia

Position: Commercial Specialist


Phone: +213 770 101 091

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