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Expat Exchange - Healthcare in Belgium
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Brussels, Belgium


Healthcare in Belgium

By Betsy Burlingame

William Russell
William Russell

Summary: If you're moving to Belgium, understanding the healthcare system is essential. This article covers public healthcare, private healthcare, hospitals, English-speaking doctors in Belgium, prescription medications and medical emergencies.

Public Healthcare in Belgium

If you are working in Belgium you are required to enroll in the social security system, and, in doing so are paying into the public healthcare system. Public health insurance providers, called mutuelle (aka mutualite) or Ziekenfonds, are open to all residents. "Once you are settled in this country in a legal way, you have to be affiliate to a 'mutualite' (aka mutuelle) system, and then, you will have all the benefits of the health systems here, doctors, hospitals, diagnose tests, x-rays etc," explained one expat.

Some of Belgium's mutuelles are:

Private Healthcare in Belgium

While some expats rely upon the public healthcare system in Belgium, many choose to purchase expat health insurance to give them access to private hospitals and doctors.

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Homelike

Get Quote

We've partnered with Homelike, to connect expats and newcomers with temporary accommodations in Belgium. If you're moving to Belgium, rent a short-term, furnished apartment or home for the first few months from Homelike and take your time figuring out the best place to live in Belgium.

Private Hospitals in Brussels

Delta Hospital
Boulevard du Triomphe 201
1160 Brussels

St-Anne St-Remi Clinic
Boulevard Jules Graindor, 66
1070 Brussels

Tel: 32 2 434 21 11

Braine-l'Alleud - Waterloo Hospital
Wayezstreet, 35
1420 Braine l'Alleud

Tel: 32 2 434 21 11

Basilique Clinic
Pangaert street, 37
1083 Brussels

Tel: 32 2 434 21 11

Edith Cavell Medical Centre
Rue General Lotz, 37
1180 Brussels

Tel: 02 434 81 01

Park Leopold Medical Centre
Froissart street, 38
1040 Brussels

Tel: 02 434 59 11

Europe-Lambermont Medical Centre
Penseesstreet, 1
1030 Brussels

Tel: 02 434 24 11

City Clinic Louise
Avenue Louise, 235B
1050 Brussels

Jean Monnet Medical Centre
Avenue Jean Monnet, 12
1400 Nivelles

Tel: 02 434 79 11

Finding English-Speaking Doctors in Belgium

The US Embassy provides a list of English-speaking doctors in Belgium and hospitals in Belgium.

"Another way to find doctor recommendations is to call your local embassy as they normally keep a listing, especially if you are not a fluent French or Flemish speaker," said one expat. "I called the Brussels Childbirth Trust for a list of English speaking doctors by hospital location. The BCT is a group that assists English speakers in locating resources, and they also teach pre-birth classes and a variety of classes that were invaluable," added one expat.

Finding a Good médecins traitants (Primary Care Doctor)

"Good "médecins traitants" often don't accept new patients any more. Even in a family without any serious health problems, it pays to have one, so do invest some time in finding a good one: Ask colleagues, neighbours and so on. Belgians in general are happy to help and give advice," advised one expat.

Medical Emergencies in Belgium

To reach a doctor in an emergency, call the emergency medical and ambulance service at number 100 or 112. Telephone 100 or 112 may be used for all emergencies. Ambulance services are provided at any time of the day or night and will transport the patient to the nearest hospital. An attendant accompanies the ambulance; depending on the case, a member of the family and/or doctor may accompany the patient as well. You may also call the "Doctor on Duty" ("Dokter van wacht" -"Médecin de Garde"), indicated in your local newspaper, or the closest clinic or hospital.

Having a Baby in Belgium

"Overall it was pleasant. I used an mostly expat hospital as I am a native English speaker, mostly for convenience to my home. (Edith Cavell). The doctor was not as open / offering as normally what I am used to: I always felt that she was not telling me any details unless I probed heavily. I think that this was partially a cultural thing, as she stated that the baby is the primary concern, but it made me a little on edge the entire time. Overall, the pain management was good and my delivery was seamless, and I had an epidural also. The hospital stay was 5 days and absolute heaven. They will insist on emphasizing breastfeeding exclusively and will support you in this endeavor unless you specifically have a reason against it," wrote one expat mom who had a baby in Brussels.

Prescription Medications in Belgium

"Usually medicines are available, when not, they ask you to come back the same day later and they will order it for you, no additional cost. I get my medications in the pharmacie, close where I live, there is a good pharmacies network, the bad part is they only open until 6 pm sometimes 7 pm. After that, you have to look for the pharmacie on duty in your area. Medications have an extra cost when you buy them in extra-time. You always need a prescription for medications, there are few exceptions like some analgesics creams, etc, things than are currently classified as no-risk for health. The cost I find it normal, less expensive than in my country," wrote one expat in a healthcare report about Charleroi.

"Never had any problems concerning this; there seems to be a pharmacy on every second corner and what's not on stock will usually be there the next day. But we've never had any special needs either. My wife is more favourable of pythotherapy and homeopathy, and that's also readily available," added another expat.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


William Russell
William Russell

William Russell
William Russell

Brussels, Belgium

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William Russell
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