The introduction of a free health service in Algiers on January 1st has doubled the number of outpatients at Algerian hospitals.
GV Thickly populated area of Algiers
SCU Pan women bringing children into health centre
SV Int. reception area
SV Women with children queusing
SCU Pan woman with children wait as another child is innoculated - child crying
LV Wealthier suburb of Algiers
CU Sign over health centre
SV Int. women and children in waliting room
SV Doctor treating child's head
SCU Young woman on had being examined by doctor
SV Dental treatment being given to child
SV Nurse dispensing durgs
LV Ambulance arrives at health centre in lower Casbah
SV Sign ever centre
SV Doctor Mazouni (left) with his assistants explains ot new arrivals that service is free
LV INT. Patients in waiting room
SCU INT. Mothers at family planning and baby care clinic
Initials SC/2001 SC/2029
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Background: The introduction of a free health service in Algiers on January 1st has doubled the number of outpatients at Algerian hospitals. Free treatment is now available form all medical units dependent on the Algerian Health Minister and medication worth up to 15 DA (GBP 1.60) is also being distributed free. A charge of 3 DA (32p) is made for more expensive drugs.
The Health Ministry has been authorised to spend twice its normal budget on the new service which the government has hailed as Health Revolution.
With an annual birth rate of 3.4 per cent, Algeria's feet growing population has put a tremendous strain on the country's services and especially on medical personnel. A chronic shortage of doctors in the south is only alleviated by military doctors assigned by the Ministry of Health. Many of the 2,000 doctors are concentrated in the capital, Algiers, where there is one doctor for every 500 - 600 people. But even so, queues have been building up at the city's health centers since the free service was introduced.
Since 1972, 300 doctors have been graduating from Algerian universities annually, but by 1980 the government hopes to be able to meet its medical staff requirements.