Francophone Belgium could lose half its family doctors in 20 years
Monday, 04 September 2017
People in French-speaking Belgium could see the number of general practitioners at their disposal shrink by half within 20 years, barring policy changes, Le Soir daily reported on Monday. The newspaper noted that, according to the baseline scenario of the Planning Commission, by 2037, French-speaking Belgium will have just 509 general practitioners (GPs) per 1,000,000 inhabitants, as against 990 per 1,000,000 in 2012.
Flanders, for its part, will register a 34% drop in its doctor-to-population ratio, which is currently much higher than in Brussels and Wallonia. Its ratio is expected to go from 1,203 GPs per 1,000,000 inhabitants in 2012, to 794 per 1,000,000 in 2037.
The Planning Commission’s figures include the famous ‘surplus French-speaking students’, who, from 2007 to 2015, defied all attempts to filter them, much to the displeasure of Flanders, according to the daily, which also pointed to increasingly marked criticisms against the Belgian system of planning medical resources.
The ‘surplus French-speaking students’ include foreign national, mostly from neighbouring countries, who come to Belgium to study medicine.