Tunisia is an internationally renowned destination, and the growth of medical tourism in the country is a proof not only of the attractiveness of the local healthcare rates, but also of the high level qualifications of the doctors and the quality of the infrastructures.
Below, we explain everything you need to know in order to choose the best insurance for Tunisia.
But apart from that, it is important to get to know the local healthcare system before going to live there as an expat.
Tunisian health system and health insurance
Health care costs in Tunisia
Medicines cost on average half as much in Tunisia as in Europe.
As for health care, in the public sector, a consultation with a general practitioner costs about 6 euros, and 10 euros for a specialist.
In the private sector, where prices are unrestricted and vary according to the institution and the practitioner, you will have to pay 10 euros in the first case and 20 in the second.
A night in the hospital usually costs less than 60 euros, and a check-up at the dentist about 25 euros.
The Tunisian health infrastructure
Tunisia has 2,200 public and 3,300 private health centers. Doctors are numerous and qualified.
They usually speak French and offer a wide range of care in terms of specialties.
In general, Tunisia is well equipped with infrastructures, but there are inequalities.
Services in rural areas are not up to European standards and it is often necessary to go to the big cities to receive good care.
The public sector suffers from a lack of funding, which results in an uneven quality of care, sometimes with long delays in treatment, and a lack of facilities that often leads to the use of the private sector.
In fact, 70% of modern equipment belongs to this sector, which stands out for its hygienic and sanitary quality.
Health insurance in Tunisia
Who should be affiliated?
Health insurance in Tunisia is managed by the National Health Insurance Fund (CNAM) and is compulsory for Tunisians and foreigners living and working in the country.
It is the employer who is responsible for managing the affiliation of his employee with the CNAM. Self-employed persons must register on their own.
Tunisian health insurance covers the insured and their dependents (spouse and dependent children), and the benefits offered vary according to the situation of each person, particularly the number of days worked.
Care provided in public or private medical centers under agreement is covered with a co-payment to be paid by the insured, and it is possible to be covered at 100% in the case of a chronic or long-term illness.
Expats are required to join the local health insurance scheme, but it may be interesting for them to also subscribe to an expat insurance.
Choosing insurance for Tunisia
The advantages of expat insurance for Tunisia
Private international insurance is in fact often the most suitable solution for expats in Tunisia, as it is designed specifically to meet their needs.
In particular, it will allow you to manage all your procedures in English and attend authorized medical centers, which will often avoid you to advance payment of expenses or the co-payment.
These partnerships with health care networks also allow the insured to benefit from better care, in a shorter time frame.
If you take out a good insurance policy to live in Tunisia, you will also have the advantage that it will protect you outside Tunisia, especially during stays in your home country or during vacations abroad, and this is something that the local health insurance does not allow.
Depending on the contract and the options chosen, it also provides interesting additional coverages, such as repatriation assistance or insurance in case of loss or theft of luggage.
Private international insurance for Tunisia
Many companies offer different types of insurance in Tunisia.
Before taking out insurance, you should first check several features such as whether they charge additional premiums or if they include coverage for pre-existing medical conditions.
It is also important to know how they make their reimbursements and if they are enough to cover all health expenses incurred, especially hospitalization expenses or care in the private sector.
Finally, please be aware that even though you take out private health insurance tailored to your needs, you will also have to join the Tunisian health system, as it is compulsory for all foreign citizens.