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Tunisia: Tunisia Health Profile


The health sector has developed in the past few years in both the public and the private sectors in the direction of improving the quality of services to patients and easing the pressure on public hospitals. Health expenditure declined from 4.76% of GDP in 2008 to 4.56% in 2009, 2.66% and 2.59% of which, respectively, for the private sector.Health indicators improved between 2008 and 2009, with life expectancy at birth rising from 74.70 to 75.10 years, and the welfare-cover rate of employees who are members of the different welfare schemes rose from 92% in 2008 to 93.2% in 2009.
Infant mortality declined from 18.4 to 17.0 deaths per thousand live births, while the number of physicians per 1 000 inhabitants rose from 0.968 in 2007 to 1.563 in 2009. The rate of access of pregnant women to prenatal consultation is 96%. The proportion of births in hospitals has also reached 96%. Several epidemiological diseases have been eradicated, including cholera, schistosomiasis, whooping cough, congenital tetanus and muscular dystrophy (no case has been recorded since 1992), and other pathologies such as chickenpox and tuberculosis are under control. More than 95% of the population have access to health services at less than 5 kilometres from their residence.
The different family-planning programmes started in the 1960s have made it possible to limit births. The birth rate, estimated at 17 per 1 000 inhabitants, is constant. The population growth rate is also stable at 1.08%. HIV prevalence is low (0.1%), which allows the country to focus on prevention and provide free treatment to those who are HIV positive. These aspects in particular have put Tunisia in the 98th position out of 182 countries in the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Human Development Index (HDI) rankings.