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[Primary care in Belgium].

Authors
  • Sánchez-Sagrado, T1
  • 1 Búsqueda activa de empleo, Bruselas, Bélgica. Electronic address: [email protected]
Type
Published Article
Journal
Semergen
Publication Date
Sep 01, 2017
Volume
43
Issue
6
Pages
445–449
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.semerg.2016.03.002
PMID: 27102951
Source
Medline
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

Belgium is an attractive country to work in, not just for doctors but for all Spanish workers, due to it having the headquarters of European Union. The health job allure is double; on the one hand, the opportunity to find a decent job, and on the other, because it is possible to develop their professional abilities with patients of the same nationality in a health system with a different way of working. The Belgium health care system is based on security social models. Health care is financed by the government, social security contributions, and voluntary private health insurance. Primary care in Belgium is very different to that in Spain. Citizens may freely choose their doctor (general practitioner or specialist) increasing the lack of coordination between primary and specialized care. This leads to serious patient safety problems and loss of efficiency within the system. Belgium is a European country with room to improve preventive coverage. General practitioners are self-employed professionals with free choice of setting, and their salary is linked to their professional activity. Ambulatory care is subjected to co-payment, and this fact leads to great inequities on access to care. The statistics say that there is universal coverage but, in 2010, 14% of the population did not seek medical contact due to economic problems. It takes 3 years to become a General Practitioner and continuing medical education is compulsory to be revalidated. In general, Belgian and Spaniards living and working in Belgium are happy with the functioning of the health care system. However, as doctors, we should be aware that it is a health care system in which access is constrained for some people, and preventive coverage could be improved.

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