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    Government agrees to reimburse psychological care

    © Belga
    © Belga

    The Federal Government has agreed to reimburse frontline psychological care in the budget accord, earmarking some 22.5 million euros for that purpose, Health Minister Maggie De Block announced on Wednesday in a press release. People will moderate psychic problems will soon be able to obtain reimbursements for short-term treatment by a psychologist or a clinical orthopedagogue in an interdisciplinary framework.

    “This is an important stage for frontline medical heath care,” Ms. De Block commented. “The reimbursement of frontline psychological care will enable people suffering from moderate psychic disorders, who sometimes need to wait for years before they can receive help, to be treated more quickly.”

    The Belgian Federation of Psychologists quickly expressed satisfaction at the measure. “We did not expect it,” Federation head Koen Lowet said. “This measure proves all the interest the Government has in the mental health sector. It also shows the good collaboration between the Federal Government and the communities, which are responsible for organizing frontline care.”

    According to the Federation’s calculations, the 22.5 million euros budgeted by the Government will make it possible to reimburse 3 to 4 sessions per patient. “The measure is along the lines of the law on mental health-care professions, aimed at making psychological care more accessible for the population,” Lowet stressed.

    However, the Belgian Federation of Psychologists has asked Ms. De Block to involve it in the reimbursement process because the national health Insurance agency,  “Inami has more experience with hospital care than psychological care.”

    The reimbursement of frontline psychological care is not scheduled to start before late 2018.

    Andy Sanchez
    The Brussels Times