7 out of 10 Belgians want authorities involved in their health
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    7 out of 10 Belgians want authorities involved in their health

    More than 7 out of 10 Belgians agree to make certain screenings or vaccinations compulsory. They would even like a formal prohibition on smoking, when in the presence of children. This is revealed on Monday in a survey by Mutualités Libres (the Belgian health insurance agency) carried out with one thousand individuals, so as to know their health preferences.

    The survey indicated that 8 out of 10 interviewed are convinced that the government could influence the health of citizens.

    However, the opinion poll reveals that 14% of those surveyed consider these measures or potential measures as an “unacceptable interference” and 26% as “a definite, but reasonable interference.”

    Moreover, 51% of those surveyed considered that the choice of health goal should as a priority take account of the burden of the disease (the suffering occasioned by the disease). This element has more of an influence than the actual number of patients affected by the given disease – the second most important factor in this survey (coming in at 41%). The third most important criteria put in the spotlight in the survey is the cost to the social security system (at 34%).

    Some 8 out of 10 surveyed considered that the absolute priority as regards health investment is the fight against cancer, followed by the fight against chronic illnesses (cardiovascular illnesses and diabetes…52%) and obesity (33%). Youngsters also stress the importance of taking responsibility for psychological difficulties (general malaise, harassment and other conditions).

    Lastly, the survey shows that 6 out of 10 interviewed wish to be consulted in the formulation of responses to all such health problems.

    Oscar Schneider
    The Brussels Times