Alban Africa


Regulatory Situation

The Algerian Public Health Code of 23 October 1976 rendered the practice of medicine without a licence an offence. Apart from Section 364 on the practice of herbalists, no exceptions were made for the practice of traditional medicine. Section 47 explicitly prohibited medical auxiliaries from using “secret or occult procedures”.

This monopoly on the practice of medicine was retained and fortified in Law 85-05 of 16 February 1985 relating to health protection and promotion, which repealed the 1976 Code, among other things. Under Section 197, in order to practice as an allopathic physician or dentist, a person must be licensed and hold an Algerian diploma of Doctor of Medicine or Dentistry or a recognized foreign equivalent. The exclusion of traditional medicine is underscored by the broad language of provisions contained in Section 214 that define the activities constituting the illegal practice of medicine or dentistry. These include acting as a physician or dentist without a licence and further circumscribe the activities of persons who habitually take part, whether for consideration or not, even in the presence of a physician or dentist, in making a diagnosis or in treating diseases or surgical or dental conditions, congenital or acquired, real or supposed, by personal acts, oral or written advice, or by any other means whatsoever, without fulfilling the conditions prescribed in Sections 197 or 198 [governing the mandatory qualifications for medical and dental specialists].

Section 225 includes provisions prohibiting medical auxiliaries from “announcing or applying technical procedures other than those that are taught in national training programs”. Despite these restrictions, traditional medicine practitioners seem to be tolerated.