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The healthcare system in Senegal
There are two types of health insurance scheme available to you in Senegal: one public and one private.
The public healthcare system
Senegal has a Social Security system but it does not cover health or unemployment. For workers, healthcare is covered by the IPM health fund (Institut de Prévoyance Maladie), operated by one or several companies. Others need to resort to welfare assistance.
If you are employed:
Under the provisions of the Labour Code, enrolment is arranged by the employer for the employee and their family. The only condition is that the employee must have contributed for at least two months before claiming any health benefits.
These benefits are managed by a health fund chosen from among:
- health funds,
- private insurance,
- mother and child protection centres.
In addition to health cover provided by these funds, the hospitalised employee is entitled to:
- payment of a deposit: if the contribution period is not sufficient to entitle the employee to benefits under the health fund, the company acts as guarantor for the employee and agrees to pay their medical expenses to the hospital. This enables the employee to receive treatment and reimburse the employer over the months following hospitalisation.
- a hospital allowance: the employee receives a (small) payment per day of hospitalisation.
If you are not employed:
Welfare assistance provides the entire population with primary health care. The system is organised in a pyramid structure in this country:
- at local and community level
- at intermediate level: health centres
- at regional level: specialised health centres
- at national level: national hospitals, services and institutes
What cover does the IPM provide?
The fund covers 40% to 80% of medical, pharmaceutical and hospital costs.
In addition, during period of illness, the employer pays benefits according to length of service.
The primary care dispensed in medical care centres relates principally to preventive care (vaccinations), hospitalisation and emergency treatment.
How much does healthcare cost in Senegal?
Contributions to the health fund are divided equally between the employee and employer. The rate is 3% of salary up to a maximum of 60,000 CFA Francs.
What you need to do:
In principle, no action is required on your part. Your employer is responsible for enrolling you in the appropriate health fund.
Given the number of employees in Senegal, we understand that only a small proportion of the population has efficient healthcare cover.
The private healthcare system
This system is useful for self-employed persons who want health cover that goes beyond primary care. The worker therefore takes out private insurance cover that will provide comprehensive health cover and fully reimburse all types of care.
Date of publication May 3 2012