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Health care reform in Belgium

  • Erik Schokkaert

    (Centre for Economic Studies, Naamsestraat 69, Leuven, Belgium)

  • Carine Van de Voorde

    (Centre for Economic Studies, Naamsestraat 69, Leuven, Belgium)

Curbing the growth of public sector health expenditures has been the proclaimed government objective in Belgium since the 1980s. However, the respect for freedom of choice for patients and for therapeutic freedom for providers has blocked the introduction of microeconomic incentives and quality control. Therefore - with some exceptions, particularly in the hospital sector - policy has consisted mainly of tariff and supply restrictions and increases in co-payments. These measures have not been successful in curbing the growth of expenditures. Moreover, there remains a large variation in medical practices. While the structure of health financing is relatively progressive from an international perspective, socioeconomic and regional inequalities in health persist. The most important challenge is the restructuring of the basic decision-making processes; i.e. a simplification of the bureaucratic procedures and a re-examination of the role of regional authorities and sickness funds. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 14 (2005)
Issue (Month): S1 ()
Pages: S25-S39

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Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:14:y:2005:i:s1:p:s25-s39
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/5749

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  1. Wagstaff, Adam & van Doorslaer, Eddy & van der Burg, Hattem & Calonge, Samuel & Christiansen, Terkel & Citoni, Guido & Gerdtham, Ulf-G & Gerfin, Mike & Gross, Lorna & Hakinnen, Unto, 1999. "Equity in the finance of health care: some further international comparisons1," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 263-290, June.
  2. van Doorslaer, Eddy & Wagstaff, Adam & van der Burg, Hattem & Christiansen, Terkel & De Graeve, Diana & Duchesne, Inge & Gerdtham, Ulf-G & Gerfin, Michael & Geurts, Jose & Gross, Lorna, 2000. "Equity in the delivery of health care in Europe and the US," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 553-583, September.
  3. DE GRAEVE, Diana & DUCHESNE, I., 1997. "Equity in health and in medical care consumption in Belgium," SESO Working Papers 1997001, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
  4. Erik Schokkaert & Carine Van de Voorde, 2000. "Risk adjustment and the fear of markets: The case of Belgium," Health Care Management Science, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 121-130, February.
  5. Van der Heyden, J. H. A. & Demarest, S. & Tafforeau, J. & Van Oyen, H., 2003. "Socio-economic differences in the utilisation of health services in Belgium," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 153-165, August.
  6. Diana De Graeve & Tom Van Ourti, 2003. "The Distributional Impact of Health Financing in Europe: A Review," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(10), pages 1459-1479, November.
  7. Manning, Willard G, et al, 1987. "Health Insurance and the Demand for Medical Care: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 251-77, June.
  8. Bart COCKX & Carine BRASSEUR, 2001. "The Demand for Physician Services. Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2001027, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  9. Carine Van De Voorde & Eddy Van Doorslaer & Erik Schokkaert, 2001. "Effects of cost sharing on physician utilization under favourable conditions for supplier-induced demand," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(5), pages 457-471.
  10. Schokkaert, Erik & Van de Voorde, Carine, 2003. "Belgium: risk adjustment and financial responsibility in a centralised system," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 5-19, July.
  11. ADRIAENSSEN, Ines & DE GRAEVE, Diana, 2001. "Wie valt er door de mazen van het net? Verkennend profiel van de patiënt met betalingsproblemen in het ziekenhuis," Working Papers 2001018, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
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