Algeria Uses Smart Card Technology For National Healthcare Program

Gemalto recently announced that it has started the nationwide roll-out of Algeria’s first electronic healthcare project.

Following the success of the pilot phase comprising 700,000 cards in five regions, the healthcare program in Algeria is poised for nationwide roll-out over the coming two years. This timetable is in line with the deadline set by CNAS (the Algerian national health insurance authority) under the terms of the contract won by Gemalto in 2006. Gemalto is prime contractor for the program, handling end to end implementation of the system for issuing and managing the 7 million smartcards used by healthcare beneficiaries and providers.

Gemalto’s solution enables healthcare institutions to manage patient records securely and to verify patient benefits, while maintaining data confidentiality. For healthcare beneficiaries, this new social security smartcard (known as Chifa) simplifies administrative procedures and eliminates paperwork from the submission of claims to the authorities. The high level of transaction security and faster reimbursement represent additional advantages for smartcard users.

“The pilot phase proved that the entire system works from one end of the chain to the other. Healthcare beneficiaries, doctors, pharmacists, healthcare organizations, such as social security agencies, can already reap the benefit of the solution implemented with Gemalto,” said Boualem Touati, IT director at CNAS. “For instance, claim reimbursement times have been cut from 30 to 5 days, and the complete modernization of CNAS’ processing chain will pave the way for a major reduction in operating costs.”

“It represents a large-scale project with a very tight deadline,” said Jacques Seneca, executive vice president of Gemalto’s Security Business Unit. “Following a highly successful pilot phase, Gemalto’s teams remain mobilized, ready to see the project through to completion and to support CNAS with future developments in the program.

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