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How to find a General Practitioner, doctor, physician

The Belgian healthcare is based on the Social Security system. You pay the visit at the surgery and prescriptions or medicines at the pharmacist. If the system of direct payment (tiers-payant, see below) is not applied, you must put the stickers of the medical boxes on your prescription and send everything to the medical organisation in charge of giving the refund of what you pre-paid.

At the surgery, with the doctor (GP)

The amount of refund from the insurance in the cost of the act varies according to the status of the doctor (General Practitioner or private practitioner), the kind of act and the status of the patient. There are 3 types of practitioner:

  1. GP with convention: This category groups most of the GP. They follow the rates agreed with the State in all their acts, except if the patient has got specific requirements (e.g. visit at home).
  2. GP with partial convention: they are often specialists that only apply the rates agreed at certain hours of the day.
  3. Private practitioner (no convention): They have not agreed a specific rate and they can fix freely their fares.

The part that remains in charge of the patient is called quote-part personnelle or ticket modérateur (share). Usually it is 25 %.

People who are registered with a medical record (called dossier médical global - DMG) and who have chosen a specific GP (it is always possible to visit another GP but the chosen GP - médecin traitant - will centralized the data of the DMG), get a 30% discount of the quote-part for the acts in the surgery (medical visits at home are not counted). The patient asks to update the record in the DMG at each visit.

At the pharmacy

With a prescription done by the GP, you do not pay usually the full amount. The refund is automatically applied in advance. It is called the tiers-payant.

Pharmacies are open from Monday morning to Friday evening and often on Saturday morning. Some pharmacies provides, in a rota, a 24h service on Saturday afternoon and Sunday (addresses are displayed each month on the windows of the pharmacists).


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