The Brussels federation of general practitioners wants to make the search for a general practitioner easier by launching a website with a search function that takes the patient's location and spoken languages into account.
Only one in three people in Brussels has a general practitioner which leads to patients turning to the emergency services too quickly, according to the federation.
"The population in Brussels is constantly changing, which is why have to keep repeating our message: if you have a medical question, go to a general practitioner first," said Tomes De Cartier, who is a general practitioner and member of the Fédération des Associations des Médecins Généralistes de Bruxelles (FAMGB), to Bruzz.
People in Brussels too often go to the emergency care, even for non-urgent medical issues. "Only one in three people in Brussels has a general practitioner, even though there is always one in the neighbourhood," said De Cartier.
The FAMGB is launching the new website together with the nonprofit organisation Brusselse Huisartsenkring, an association of about 100 general practitioners in Brussels.
The new website, doctorbrussels.be, gives the patient the option to choose between Dutch, French and English. Patients selecting the Dutch option will be redirected to a website with Dutch-speaking doctors. The other two options give visitors the opportunity to find a doctor who also speaks Croatian or Arabic, for example.
"In a cosmopolitan city such as Brussels, many residents or visiting citizens come from countries where general medicine is completely different or does not exist," said the Federation of General Practitioners to Bruzz. "Many people don't know what a general practitioner is," the federation added.
The Brussels Times