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    Belgium could become “a high medical tourism country”

    ©Belga
    ©Belga

    Belgium took sixth place on the European Healthcare Consumption Indicator (EHCI), with the Netherlands in first. A “generous system based on services”, Belgian healthcare is among the best on the continent, which draws numerous foreign patients. This is according to an analysis by the Health Consumer Powerhouse (HCP), whose conclusions were published on Tuesday. The study compares Healthcare systems in 37 places (36 countries and Scotland) using public statistics, the results of patient polls and independent studies by the HCP. The HCP is a private firm based in Sweden.

    The top trio is the Netherlands (898 points out of 1,000), Switzerland (855), and Norway (851). Belgium gets sixth place with 820 points, between Denmark (836) and Iceland (818). Montenegro (463), Romania (453) and Bosnia-Herzegovina (420) are at the bottom.

    The HCP says “the excellent access to Healthcare in Belgium” is a “major factor” in drawing patients from the North-East of Europe. Among the good points mentioned in the study on Belgium are the improvements in patient’s rights to information. The system is also more reliable and the number of nosocomial infections has gone down.

    Efforts still need to be made on prevention, especially getting people to stop smoking and promoting sports in schools. The HCP also criticizes the long delays in the introduction of new medicines, and the over-prescription of antibiotics.

    Jason Bennett (Source: Belga)