Ten care organisations will soon temporarily open their doors in Flanders to provide initial medical and psychosocial care to refugees from Ukraine before they have access to the regular healthcare system.
The financing of the so-called "care points" received the green light from the National Institute for Health and Disability Insurance (RIZIV), Public Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke announced on Monday. They will be operational for a maximum of nine months, with an additional six organisations awaiting a decision on whether they will receive funding for these services.
"The care points are important for starting chronic treatments, for counselling pregnant women, but also for tuberculosis screening and for acute care," said Vandenbroucke.
"In addition, we also want to offer the necessary psychological support because war causes a lot of trauma. For example, don't underestimate what it does to teenagers that they had to leave their father behind in the war."
Transition to regular system
Vandenbroucke explained that the assistance offered at these care centres serves as a "transition between the first registration of a Ukrainian refugee and the integration into the regular care circuit."
The centres are designed to be very low-threshold. For example, the health centres work with interpreters, so that people can be helped in their own language.
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"We have the responsibility to receive Ukrainian refugees in the best possible circumstances. That applies to housing and education, but first and foremost the necessary - and sometimes urgent - medical care," Vandenbroucke said.
It is possible the creation of more care centres will follow suit, including in other regions. The centres that will now start offering this form of help include:
Vzw Habo (Region Groot Brugge)
Vzw Zora (Boechout, Mortsel Hove, Kontich, Edegem, Borsbeek, Lint)
Vzw Panacea (Brakel, Herzele, Lierde, Oosterzele, Sint-Lievens-Houtem, Zottegem)
Non-profit organisation HAK Pallieterland (Duffel, Berlaar, Lier, Nijlen and Ranst)
Vzw HAK Turnhout (Arendonk, Baarle-Hertog, Dessel, Hoogstraten, Kasterlee, Lille, Merksplas, Oud Turnhout, Ravels, Retie, Rijkevorsel, Turnhout and Vosselaar)
Vzw HAZOH (Southeast Hageland)
Non-profit organisation HAK Dijle and Netevallei
Vzw Huisartsenkoepel Zorgpunt Dender Zuid (Dender Zuid, Ninove and Geraardsbergen)
Vzw ELZ Antwerpen (Antwerp, Schoten, Stabroek, Wommelgem)
Vzw ELZ Kemp en Duin (Genk, Zutendaal, As, Bree, Oudsbergen)