Brussels earmarks €17 million to boost healthcare

Brussels earmarks €17 million to boost healthcare
Almost a third of Brussels residents do not have a general practitioner. Credit: Canva

The Brussels government will put aside more than €17 million to strengthen healthcare in the region over the next two years. In 2023, €7.5 million will be allocated, and another €10 million will be invested in 2024.

“The budgets will mainly be spent on additional staff,” Brussels Health Minister Alain Maron told La Libre, adding that the aim is to better coordinate the provision of healthcare in order to “bring those furthest from the health system closer to it”.

Maron explains that the Covid-19 crisis exposed how certain groups in Brussels are too distant from healthcare initiatives, severely limiting the medical support they receive. For instance, almost a third of Brussels residents do not have a general practitioner.

An integrated infrastructure

Five “care areas” will be created, each with a regulatory board to ensure coordination between primary care, hospitals, ambulatory care and mental health services.

The four existing zones of the Brussel-Capital Region will all be accommodated in the five new care areas. Improvements will also be made at a more local level in the city’s 47 neighbourhoods. Each of these has about 30,000 inhabitants.

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Individual districts will have a “local social and health contract” to better detect and remedy health issues of residents. Nine districts have already received a subsidy to start up these contracts, and another nine will receive it by the beginning of 2023.

The primary care project will be presented to the regional government on Thursday and the legislative texts must be voted on in the Brussels Parliament in the course of 2023. The plan is still open to change, but will likely be set in motion within a year and a half.

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