Belgium: Health system review

TitleBelgium: Health system review
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsGerkens S, Merkur S
Secondary AuthorsMossialos E, Busse R, Figueras J, McKee M, Saltman R
Series TitleHealth Systems in Transition
Volume12-5
Number of Pages266
PublisherWHO Regional Office for Europe
CityCopenhagen
KeywordsBelgium; Delivery of health Care; Evaluation Studies; Financing, Health; Health care Reform; Health System Plans
AbstractThe Health Systems in Transition (HiT) profiles are country-based reports that provide a detailed description of a health system and of policy initiatives in progress or under development. HiTs examine different approaches to the organization, financing and delivery of health services and the role of the main actors in health systems; describe the institutional framework, process, content and implementation of health and health care policies; and highlight challenges and areas that require more in-depth analysis. The Belgian population continues to enjoy good health and long life expectancy. This is partly due to good access to health services of high quality. Financing is based mostly on proportional social security contributions and progressive direct taxation. The compulsory health insurance is combined with a mostly private system of health care delivery, based on independent medical practice, free choice of physician and predominantly fee-for-service payment. This Belgian HiT profile (2010) presents the evolution of the health system since 2007, including detailed information on new policies. While no drastic reforms were undertaken during this period, policy-makers have pursued the goals of improving access to good quality of care while making the system sustainable. Reforms to increase the accessibility of the health system include measures to reduce the out-of-pocket payments of more vulnerable populations (low-income families and individuals as well as the chronically ill). Quality of care related reforms have included incentives to better integrate different levels of care and the establishment of information systems, among others. Additionally, several measures on pharmaceutical products have aimed to reduce costs for both the National Institute for Health and Disability Insurance (NIHDI) and patients, while maintaining the quality of care.
URLhttp://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0014/120425/E94245.PDF
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