Health systems in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia: National challenges and joint issues

- Farid Chaoui,Michel Legros.


In order to develop its sectorial socio-economic projects, IPEMED organized a reflection on the current and future shape of health systems in the Maghreb. The result was a report entitled “National challenges and joint issues: health systems in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia”. The work was carried out by North African experts, coordinated by Professors F. Chaoui and M. Legros. It concerns the public health policies set up in these countries since independence, with a focus on the state of play and defining current health needs and the challenges of the coming decade. One of its aims was to draw out ideas likely to offer solutions to current and future problems and encourage cooperation between countries in the Maghreb and with countries in the North Mediterranean. Three seminars were organized. They were an occasion to define the main lines of thought and produce a monograph for each country, which the experts used as a basis to respond to the questions raised. In essence, the main purpose of this report is to provide any country committing itself to a reform process with reflections and ideas to support its efforts.

Since their independence, countries in central Maghreb have undergone considerable transformation in the health field. Firstly, they must deal with a demographic transition that has almost coincided with epidemiological transition, whereas countries in the North Mediterranean have been able to tackle these two changes at different times. In addition, Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria have started on reconstructions and reforms that need to be pursued and extended today in order to face up to the new challenges identified in the report and the rising expectations of their inhabitants. All of this is with an aim of setting up fair and socially responsible health systems that guarantee access to quality health care for all – without forgetting a response to a rising demand from users and professionals to be more involved in governing health systems.

These demographic, epidemiological, organizational and democratic transitions, which are presented in detail in the report, are preceded by a section presenting the methodological guidelines, grouped into ten development axes, that countries need to follow if they are to succeed these transitions and tackle common challenges. Before the three well-documented national monographs, produced by Professors N. Achour (Tunisia), N. Fikri Benbrahim (Morocco) and J-P. Grangaud (Algeria), another section of the report proposes opening up to existing inter-Maghreb cooperation efforts and links with the European Union and the Arab world.

At each stage of the thought process, the emphasis has been on identifying potential sources for cooperation and convergence, or even integration, between these three countries and with the countries of the European Union, and to identify lines of action and concrete recommendations that fit in with IPEMED’s overall project, to reflect so as to be able to act.

Authors :

  • Farid Chaoui, Michel Legros, Macarena Nuño.
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