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Belgian medical care

(22 Posts)
orientalrug Thu 17-Sep-09 15:32:36

I wonder if anyone can give some advice/information?

My DD (22) is living in Belgium with her partner and is newly pregnant. This was not really planned but they are really happy and excited about it (as DH and I are).

However, they had not sorted out any medical stuff (eg registering with doctors etc)as haven't been there long, and now she really does need to find a doctor.

What is the procedure? Is there reciprocal health care etc? She has tried ringing drs surgeries but has found it all very difficult.

Any advice/recommendations would be more than gratefully received.

BonsoirAnna Thu 17-Sep-09 15:33:31

Is she working? Is she legally resident in Belgium?

orientalrug Thu 17-Sep-09 15:37:30

Gosh, that was quick!

No she isn't working. Her partner has a 2 year contract working in Holland but they are living in Antwerp.

Can one just register with any doctor in Europe as we do here (UK)?

belgo Thu 17-Sep-09 15:39:23

Belgium medical care is excellent, it's a good place to have a baby, great hospital care, and independent midwives who do home births so a good choice.

Does she have medical insurance through her employer?

Does she have a SIS card?

BCT - Brussels Childbirth Trust is an excellent organisation for the whole of Belgium, and if she joins them, she can find out what she needs to know. They do ante natal course in english, and have a talk called 'Having a Baby in Belgium'.

Whereaboutrs in Belgium is she - flemish, french, Brussels?

belgo Thu 17-Sep-09 15:40:42

here is BCT

BonsoirAnna Thu 17-Sep-09 15:46:53

Hmm. I don't know how it works in Belgium - here in France your DD wouldn't have many rights at all (just emergency care for illegal immigrants!).

BonsoirAnna Thu 17-Sep-09 15:46:55

Hmm. I don't know how it works in Belgium - here in France your DD wouldn't have many rights at all (just emergency care for illegal immigrants!).

belgo Thu 17-Sep-09 15:50:38

She'll get health care, don't worry! She is not going to be turned away. I've seen people without any papers being given the best medical treatment in Belgium, they just don't turn people away.

I assume she's registered as living in Belgium?

She needs to register with a doctor - they are mostly private, and the cost is about 20 euros per consultation.

If she wants an independent midwife, there is a group called Bolle Buik that give independent care.

orientalrug Thu 17-Sep-09 15:55:09

Thank you so much. No she doesn't have medical insurance through her employer as she isn't working, but her partner is working, I will get her to check re. his medical insurance.

If his insurance won't cover her, and she isn't working, can she actually get medical care, free or otherwise? Perhaps she ought to come home and see her family doctor in the first instance.

I think she knows about the BCT, thanks for the link to that, I think she is going to go to an ante-natal meeting with them soon(....actually I think it IS that talk 'Having a Baby in Belgium'!)Will they tell her how to actually get registered with a doctor?

What is an SIS card??? She's got the European health card thing that replaced the E111! Don't know if that's much use.

Sorry for so many questions, but I really have no idea what the set-up is re health care in Europe. Luckily have never had to use it on the many family holidays we have had over there. Just trying to help her really, as mothers tend to do!!

belgo Thu 17-Sep-09 15:58:17

She can still register with medical insurance while being pregnant.

I'll ask my dh tonight for more information about how the system works.

orientalrug Thu 17-Sep-09 15:59:52

So, she should register as 'living in Belgium'. I will see if she has done that.

It is the registering with a doctor she is finding difficult. They are able to pay, that isn't a problem, it's just getting the initial appointment she is finding complicated!

I'll pass on this info. Thank you so much.

BonsoirAnna Thu 17-Sep-09 16:00:28

If she got married, she would be entitled to any health insurance her DP has. And it would make getting benefits etc much easier.

belgo Thu 17-Sep-09 16:01:44

APC is another Antwerp based orgnanisation.

orientalrug Thu 17-Sep-09 16:24:37

OK have just had an email from her. She has investigated everything thoroughly and is in the process of getting everything sorted out very sensibly! Time for me to butt out I think.

I will pass on the info re APC. That looks really good. Thanks once again.

belgo Thu 17-Sep-09 16:29:33

That's greatsmile Please try not to worry, I've worked in the Belgium health care system, and been a patient in it, and the mother of a patient (my children!) and it really is an excellent system. I'm so glad I had my babies here and not on the NHS in England!

skihorse Sat 26-Sep-09 18:10:07

I used to live in Belgium and work in The Netherlands.

BY LAW (!) you must be insured in NL - and the Dutch authorities do not take kindly to you being unregistered! 90 quid a month with

In addition, because I lived in Belgium I needed to have Belgian insurance too! 30 euros a year "top-up" are bloody excellent and operate out of Gent so your daughter will be able to speak English with them.

They need to get insurance asap!

scaryteacher Sat 26-Sep-09 20:07:31

Anna - if she is a Brit national and therefore an EU citizen, she can't be an illegal immigrant, as she is entitled under EU law to live anywhere within the EU.

BonsoirAnna Sun 27-Sep-09 19:48:28

You are only entitled to live anywhere in the EU if you are registered with the authorities and able to support yourself.

frakkinpannikin Sun 27-Sep-09 19:58:55

She can be 'illegally' living there if she's not actually registered as living there IYSWIM. Of course if Belgium don't have a registration system then there's no need! But as has already been pointed out some countries don't take to kindly to you living there without health insurance/registering with the town hall/whatever else youneed to do. A lot of my AP friends in Paris found out the hard way it's possible to be less than legally resident as an EU citizen when they got sick and discovered they hadn't done all the right paperwork, got a social security number etc.

The EHIC works once or so and then they start wondering why you're trying to evade their charges apparently.

frakkinpannikin Sun 27-Sep-09 19:59:38

BonsoirAnna beat me to it - clearly I am a very slow typist!

skihorse Mon 28-Sep-09 10:26:31

I lived on and off in Belgium for 9 years and for only 2 of those did I have an ID card (was registered) and I owned a house for 4 and a car for 7! In my experience the Belgians are "delightfully racist" and if she's a pretty, young, white girl she'll be able to do whatever the crap she likes.

But (!) medical bills are one thing you really can't mess about with and if her primary insurance is in NL then she might wish to consider her birthing options as homebirths are the preferred method in NL versus hospital births in Belgium. NL also have the home help for 10 days after the birth...

skihorse Mon 28-Sep-09 10:27:55

To echo what the others have said, the EHIC card would be a "gamble" if working in the EU and you need to use it to fix a broken ankle or something like that. It cannot however be used for on-going maternity care - that'd stick out like a sore thumb!

The EHIC card is only meant for temporary travelling, not residence.

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