Algeria is only ranked 14 among 22 MENA countries, but there are some positive rankings too. Algeria has a good score on overweight, and there is a fair distribution of hospital beds. Expenses are at a low level, claiming only 3.6% of GDP.
Algeria has long enjoyed a well-run health care system, which was free of charge for its users. Free medical care was introduced 1974. This system, one of the most impressive in the third world, faced economic and administrative problems in the late 1980s. Since then, the system has deteriorated, and today, only the poor receive free services, while the wealthy pay for care according to a sliding scale.
The Islamist groups quickly built up a competing and far more effective system. This was one of the reasons for the fast-growing popularity of the Islamists in this decade.
Infrastructure in Algeria is not well-developed. The number of physicians at 1.1 per 1000 inhabitants is low, while the number of hospital beds, at 2.1 per 1000 is a better figure. From 1990 to 1999, the hospital bed ratio fell from 2.4 to 2.1 per 1000 inhabitants.
There are major differences between urban and rural regions. Many of the problems of Algeria is mainly related to insufficient services in the rural regions.
Health conditions and diseases
Algeria faces challenges in that diseases like tuberculosis, hepatitis, measles, typhoid fever, cholera and dysentery to be of a substantial problem. Algerian government carries through immunization for 1 year old children against diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus.
Government campaigns have allowed extensive use of contraceptives, about half of Algerian women were using one or another form of this by the year 2000.
Figures of 2006 from WHO show that 85% have good access to clean water, 94% access to good sanitation.