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The introduction of hospital networks in Belgium: The path from policy statements to the 2019 legislation

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  • De Regge, Melissa
  • De Pourcq, Kaat
  • Van de Voorde, Carine
  • Van den Heede, Koen
  • Gemmel, Paul
  • Eeckloo, Kristof

Abstract

In April 2015, the Belgian Federal Minister for Social Affairs and Public Health launched an Action Plan to reform the hospital landscape. With the creation of “localregional clinical hospital networks” with their own governance structures, the plan follows the international trend towards hospital consolidation and collaboration. The major complicating factors in the Belgian context are (1) that policy instruments for the redesign of the hospital service delivery system are divided between the federal government and the federated authorities, which can result in an asymmetric hospital landscape with a potentially better distribution of clinical services in the Flanders hospital collaborations than in the other federated entities; and (2) the current regulations stipulate that only hospitals (and not networks) are entitled to hospital budgets. Although the reform is the most significant and drastic transformation of the Belgian hospital sector in the last three decades, networks mainly offer a framework in which hospitals can collaborate. More regulation and policy measures are needed to enhance collaboration and distribution of clinical services.

Suggested Citation

  • De Regge, Melissa & De Pourcq, Kaat & Van de Voorde, Carine & Van den Heede, Koen & Gemmel, Paul & Eeckloo, Kristof, 2019. "The introduction of hospital networks in Belgium: The path from policy statements to the 2019 legislation," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 123(7), pages 601-605.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:hepoli:v:123:y:2019:i:7:p:601-605
    DOI: 10.1016/j.healthpol.2019.05.008
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Dubas-Jakóbczyk, K. & Albreht, T. & Behmane, D. & Bryndova, L. & Dimova, A. & Džakula, A. & Habicht, T. & Murauskiene, L. & Scîntee, S.G. & Smatana, M. & Velkey, Z. & Quentin, W., 2020. "Hospital reforms in 11 Central and Eastern European countries between 2008 and 2019: a comparative analysis," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 124(4), pages 368-379.

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