Belgium in top five for best health care in Europe


Jumping three places in the Euro Health Consumer Index, Belgium ranks number five in Europe for accessible, quality health care

Too many antibiotics

Belgium is number five in Europe when it comes to the quality of health care. It reached the top five after gaining three places on last year’s Euro Health Consumer Index, published by the French thinktank Health Consumer Powerhouse (HCP).

The HCP compares 46 indicators on the quality, accessibility and cost of health care among 35 European countries. It uses a point system, with 1,000 points  being a perfect score. Belgium got 849 points.

Belgium’s gets top scores in a majority of areas, including quick and accessible treatment, low cost of care, a high percentage of vaccines for children and an excellent survival rate for cancer. “This is good news for patients in Belgium,” said federal health minister Maggie De Block. “The study confirms that we provide quality health care and that we have a generous insurance system.”

Where Belgium could improve, according to the ranking, are in waiting lists and a long-term strategy for mental health care, flexibility of dialysis treatment and physical education requirements in schools. Belgian residents also drink and smoke too much and take too many antibiotics.

“Nearly nine in 10 Belgians don’t realise that antibiotics don’t have any effect against the flu,” notes De Block. “While prescriptions for antibiotics have fallen over the last few years, there are still too many. That is something to work on.”

Switzerland came top of the list with 893 points, followed by the Netherlands, Norway and Denmark. Bottom of the list are Hungary, Romania and Albania.