Choosing a doctor

Belgium has one of the most highly-rated healthcare systems in Europe. Doctors in Belgium are available in both the public and private healthcare sectors. You are free to choose your own general practitioner (GP) or family doctor (médecin/huisarts), or even see different Belgian doctors at the same time.

You can find doctors by personal recommendation or through the website or Doctoranytime.

Most consulates and embassies keep a list of doctors and dentists who speak their country’s language. The volunteer-run Community Help Service Helpline (T : +32 2 648 40 14) can provide details of English-speaking doctors and dentists in Brussels. There are several medical centres in Brussels with various general practitioners and specialists located in the same building.

If you do not have a GP and you live in the Brussels-Capital region, you can call the free number 1710 from Monday to Friday, from 8 am to 7 pm. You will be in contact with a dispatch of general practitioners who can advise you and guide you in the most efficient way.

Doctors can be registered as “conventionné” or “non-conventionné”. The former apply prices that are close to the amount which your health insurance will reimburse, whereas the latter are free to set their own fees. It is worth checking in advance if the practitioner is conventionné or not via this webpage or asking in advance about prices when you have your first consultation!

To find a dentist, visit this webpage from the website of the scientific and professional association of dentists in Belgium.


When you visit a health care provider, you receive a certificate which you then send to your mutual insurance company for reimbursement. The legal fee for a visit or consultation is therefore divided into two parts: one part is reimbursed later by the health insurance fund (the official fee), and the other is paid by the patient (the "ticket modérateur/remgeld" or personal co-payment). The latter varies according to the patient's status (BIM) and the type of service provided.

Some practitioner applies the “tiers payant/derde betaler” mechanism. In that case the official rate is paid directly by your mutual insurance company to the health care provider. You therefore only pay the amount you actually have to pay, without having to advance the sum paid by your mutual insurance company. However, you are still responsible for any additional fees charged by doctors who are not or only partially covered by the agreement.


Brussels has a large number of pharmacies, which are identified by a sign with a neon green cross. They are generally open daily from Monday to Friday and often on Saturday mornings. They provide a rotating emergency service on Saturday afternoons and on Sundays (addresses are posted up every month in their shop windows and listed on the website

Some medicines are available without prescription. The cost of these medicines is not reimbursed. Other more specific medicines are sold only upon doctor’s prescription and are generally partly refundable by the 'mutualité'.

Nearly all medicines available on the international market can be found in Belgium, but they may be sold under another name than in your home country. In that case, you should ask your G.P. at home to make out a prescription with its chemical composition, or show your local pharmacist the original packaging.

Apart from medicines, chemists also sell diet products, skin and hair care products as well as baby foods. Some chemists specialise in homeopathic medicines (which are not reimbursed), while others rent certain types of medical equipment.


Brussels offers a wide choice of public and private hospitals, university hospitals and polyclinics. Public and private hospitals (some of which with university status) operate with teams of medical specialists from different disciplines. Some specialists are based full-time at the hospital, while others also run a private practice.

Patients who opt for a shared hospital ward pay a set tariff for the room and treatment. The costs are almost completely reimbursed. But patients who opt for a single room, will have to pay extra charges for the room. In this case the doctor can set his own fee for treatment. Patients have the right to ask for a breakdown of extra charges in advance.

In the event of hospitalization, the patient has to pay a guarantee on admission as well as proof of membership of a 'mutualité'. In most hospitals, a parent is allowed to spend the night in their child’s room.

A list of the practical and approved data of each hospital location per Region (addresses, telephone numbers, number of beds, medical and medico-technical services, care programme, tasks,) has been set up by the “SPF Santé publique” :

For a complete overview of all Brussels and Belgian hospitals, check the interactive map available on this webpage.

Emergency services

Most doctors have consulting hours between Monday morning and Friday evening, usually by appointment. Weekend emergency services are provided by general practitioners for home visits. You can find a list of night doctors located in the Brussels-Capital Region and listed by municipality on the website

Otherwise, many of the larger hospitals and clinics have emergency services providing medical care and advice at any time of the day or night and on weekends and public holidays. In Belgium you can call an ambulance using the emergency number 100. You can also use the European emergency number 112, which applies in all countries of the European Union.  

Download TOODDOC, the free Belgian app dedicated to medical emergencies to find an appointment with a specialist.

usefull links

  • Hospichild, a large range of information about non-medical healthcare solutions for children
  • Baby health
  • Expatica, an overview of the healthcare system in Belgium