Medical care in Belgium

Certainly a world of difference compared to what happens here:

This was the beginning of a series of happy discoveries about medical care in Belgium. Healthcare in the US is mired in bureaucracy and competing interests and concerns about liability. It’s a complex system that both doctors and patients hate for different reasons. The typical doctor must employ a receptionist to handle calls and appointments, an office manager to handle the business side (accounts receivable and insurance claims), and at least one nurse to assist the doctor and patients.

A typical doctor’s visit always includes filling out paperwork, updating your medical history, submitting insurance information and waiting, waiting, and waiting to see the doctor, who is normally overworked and visibly frazzled by the incredible pace and hours he/she is expected to keep.

After 18 months in Belgium and multiple checkups, I have yet to fill out a single form, let alone the scads of paperwork I had to do in the US at every single visit. All of my medical tests have been given by doctors; in the US specially trained technicians or nurses administer tests and the results are reviewed by the doctor later.

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  • Okulus

    Their beer is better, too.

  • Dr Samson Isberg

    Depends on which part of Belgium we’re talking about. The Flemings are nice, courteous people, civil and fortcoming. Clean streets in the cities and low criminality. The Walloons on the other hand, give the word “arrogance” a completely new meaning, Liege was a cess-pool of dirt, crime and uncouth, perverted loudmouths. I’ve never seen such a culture difference between two parts of the same country; ever. Like two worlds apart.
    And that goes for their beer, too.

  • Five Element Wellness

    I’m curious…Why are the paperwork requirements (or traditions) different in Belgium? What are the details surrounding this? I’m imagining that the insurance system underlies the difference in practice, but…your post, while intriguing, leaves me hanging!

  • Five Element Wellness

    And…what are the pay differentials for doctors in Belgium and doctors in the U.S.? I’m sure the compensation system in Belgium varies from ours…but HOW?