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    Many Belgians do not have access to basic services

    Access to childcare, education and healthcare services is not yet affordable for all Belgians although it is considered a fundamental right. According to the Statistical Directorate-General of FPS Economy on the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (17 October) these basic services remain difficult to access for many Belgians for financial reasons.

    The Statistical Office’s survey on income and living conditions show that 6% of Belgians living in a household with children up to 12 years of age (about 106,000 out of a total of 3.7 million) find it difficult to pay childcare costs.

    Some 205,000 Belgians aged 16 and over are also unable to meet their health care needs for financial reasons, the study continues. Moreover, medical expenses are an “economic burden” for 14% of people in households using health care.

    The lack of financial resources has also implications for access to formal education (primary, secondary and tertiary). 16% of those living in a household where such costs are necessary have difficulty paying the costs.

    Maria Novak
    The Brussels Times