Belgian healthcare in the European top 5


In 2005, the Swedish think tank Health Consumer Powerhouse (HCP) set up the Euro Health Consumer Index (EHCI). This compares and examines the national health systems in 35 countries based on 50 indicators, ranging from patient rights through to access and prevention.

What have they found? That Belgium has risen from 8th to an impressive 5th place. Only Switzerland, the Netherlands, Norway and Denmark, in that order, are ranked above us. Our rapid and good treatment, high level of child vaccination and the affordability of our healthcare score best. Furthermore, we have a generous insurance system, highly specialised mental care and a high cancer survival rate.

However, there are also some negative aspects, which deserve extra attention in the future: lengthy waiting lists in mental care, overuse of antibiotics, our alcohol and tobacco use and a lack of patient information. The latter should be resolved by 2020, with the founding of a central contact point providing patients with information on their rights.