Visiting a Doctor in Belgium



A health facility or hospital in Belgium is likely to be found in each area or neighbourhood which means expats don’t need to go through a tedious process to seek medical help.

When visiting a doctor in Belgium, one issue expats may face, involves communication, especially in a country where three languages are considered official - Dutch, French and German. Still, there are a good number of physicians who can speak English, and a list of these doctors may be obtained from the expat's nearest embassy, in the yellow pages or online.

Medical facilities

In Belgium, it is recommended that expats first see a general practitioner so as to ensure which treatments with referred specialists will be covered. Sometimes, patients see a specialist without GP referrals and end up not being able to claim reimbursements. When seeing a specialist is necessary, one will have to make an appointment, usually two weeks in advance. Expatriates who are seeking out more information can visit the Belgian health ministry website.

An expat going in for a check-up may also find doctor-patient relationships not as personal as they are in most Western countries. Many doctors in Belgium are not into the habit of explaining their patients' conditions. There are those who break this stereotype of Belgian doctors, but expats may want to spend a while looking for one. After a medical appointment, patients usually pay in cash or through cheque, but there are many clinics or facilities that honour private health insurance. Upon paying, one will be given a receipt which will be presented to the insurer during reimbursement.

In general, Belgium's exemplary health care system is always a plus for expats who have decided to make a home out of this EU capital. Expats who are on international health insurance may need to ensure that their policy will indeed cover medical costs in incurred here.