Monday, October 19, 2015

Belgium, Health-care department to cut budget by €408 million.

Health-care department to cut budget by €408 million

The public health minister has announced cuts to the budget but will invest €164 million in new initiatives, such as fertility support for cancer patients and new ICT infrastructure

“Patients won’t feel cuts”

Federal health minister Maggie De Block will cut next year’s health-care department budget by €408 million but insists patients won’t feel the cuts. The costs for patients are even expected to decrease by €18 million.
The government will save €60 million on medicines that are no longer patented. These will become much cheaper thanks to the Future Pact with the pharmaceutical sector. The department is also saving €82.4 million through the non-indexation of the wages of healthcare providers.

However, the government is also investing €164.3 million in new initiatives, including €4 million in oncofreezing, the freezing of spermatozoids, egg cells and ovarian tissue to give cancer patients the chance to have children after treatment. Chemotherapy has a negative impact on the fertility of patients.

There is also €40 million invested in the ICT departments of hospitals, to improve the exchange of information about patients. By 2019, all hospitals should have an electronic record for each patient.  There is also €1.17 million provided for better guidance of transgender people.

According to the Christian Mutuality, too little investment is going towards first-line health care provided by GPs, home-care nurses, dentists and pharmacists. The budget of home nursing, for example, is to be cut by €10 million.
Photo: Ingimage

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