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Reform of urgent medical aid

The Belgian parliament approved on Thursday by a majority vote the controversial bill reforming urgent medical aid for illegal residents. The reform aims at preventing abuses by putting in place a control procedure to be entrusted to the medical adviser of the Auxiliary Fund of Health Insurance-Disability (CAAMI)

The medical adviser will be responsible for checking retroactively whether the care provided falls under the criterion of urgent medical aid. In case of “abuse”, the choice of doctor will be reconsidered and the CPAS (Centre Public d’Action Sociale) in the muncipality concerned will not be reimbursed by the federal administration.

The reform by the Minister of Social Integration, Denis Ducarme, is strongly contested by actors in support of medical aid to undocumented migrants. The College of Physicians has proposed an amendment.

The Doctors of the World organisation (Médecins du Monde) has warned against the consequences of the decision that it thinks will further restrict the access of a vulnerable population to health care.

The Brussels Times