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    Maggie De Block wants a more federalised healthcare policy

    The federal Health minister Maggie De Block (Open Vld) is fed up of the fragmentation between the eight different Health ministers. “To be honest, we all know that healthcare needs more coherent structures”, she told the Het Belang van Limburg on Saturday. She wants the healthcare policy to be more federalised. “When we realise a mistake has been made, we should be capable of fixing it”. 

    “Healthcare is the most fragmented department, there is no hierarchy between the federated bodies. This means no-one can say ‘this is what needs to happen'”, according to Mrs De Block. She thinks the complicated structure explains why there is no progress on some issues, like the alcohol plan. “The federated bodies have been chewing it over for 12 years”.  

    The minister says one of the obstacles is that the plan has to include prevention. “I have introduced a few measures, as has the Flemish minister Jo Vandeurzen. The others don’t seem to want to do too much, they’d prefer to leave me to get on with it. But I can’t deal with prevention, that’s their job. They say they don’t have enough financing, but every euro invested in prevention saves four euros of healthcare costs”. 

    Jason Bennett
    The Brussels Times