BRUSSELS – EU criticises Belgium’s health care system

Belgium needs to address its structural shortage of health workers and the “essential” need to ensure an adequate supply of critical medical products, the European Commission said.

“The Belgian health system performs well in providing acute care in hospitals,” the Commission acknowledged in its country-specific recommendations for Belgium.

Nevertheless, according to the EU executive, the current pandemic “has highlighted a number of shortcomings in the health system’s resilience when faced with a severe public health crisis,” including a “structural shortage of health workers.”

The Commission added that “ensuring sufficient critical medical products, including protective equipment in particular for health workers and workers in other exposed occupations, will remain key.”

“The smooth implementation” of the Interministerial Conference “agreement on public healthcare to make hospital staff and infrastructure (a federal competence) available to long-term care facilities (a community competence) is an important building block in this context,” the Commission said.

The Commission has regularly stressed the need for better cooperation and coordination between various levels of power in Belgium.

(Alexandra Brzozowski | EURACTIV.com)

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