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Belgium – Eye Care

Belgium is a country located in Western Europe and has a well-developed healthcare system. Eye care services in Belgium are widely available and accessible to the general public. In this article, we will answer the following questions:

  • How can you find an eye care professional in Belgium?
  • How is eye care paid for in Belgium?
  • What are the different types of eye care available, especially high street optometrists?

Finding an eye care professional

In Belgium, there are various options available to find an eye care professional. One of the most common ways is to ask for a referral from your general practitioner or family doctor. They will be able to recommend an eye specialist or optometrist. Additionally, you can find eye care professionals through online directories, such as the Belgian Optometric Association’s website or via the national health insurance provider, which has a list of eye care professionals who accept their insurance.

Paying for eye care

Eye care in Belgium is not covered by the country’s universal health insurance system. However, a portion of the cost can be reimbursed through private health insurance or supplementary insurance plans. These plans can be obtained from private insurers or through your employer’s insurance program. Additionally, some eye care procedures such as cataract surgery and corneal transplants are covered by the government’s healthcare system.

Types of eye care

There are several types of eye care available in Belgium, including:

Optometrists

Optometrists are primary eye care providers who conduct eye exams, prescribe corrective lenses, and provide vision therapy services. They are also able to diagnose and manage certain eye conditions, such as dry eye syndrome and glaucoma.


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High street optometrists, also known as opticians, are located in shopping centers and other commercial areas. They offer a wide range of eyewear products and services, including eye exams, prescription glasses, contact lenses, and sunglasses. The services offered by high street optometrists are typically not covered by the government’s healthcare system, and payment is made directly by the patient.

Ophthalmologists

Ophthalmologists are medical doctors who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of eye diseases and disorders. They can perform surgical procedures and prescribe medication.

Ophthalmologists can be found in public and private hospitals, clinics, and private practices. Their services are covered by the government’s healthcare system and private health insurance plans.

Orthoptists

Orthoptists are healthcare professionals who specialize in the diagnosis and non-surgical management of eye movement disorders and related conditions, such as amblyopia (lazy eye) and strabismus (crossed eyes).

Orthoptists typically work in hospitals, clinics, or private practices, and their services are covered by the government’s healthcare system and private health insurance plans.

Opticians

Opticians are professionals who are trained to design, fit, and dispense eyeglasses and contact lenses based on prescriptions from optometrists or ophthalmologists.

In Belgium, opticians are regulated and must hold a license to practice. Their services are typically not covered by the government’s healthcare system, and payment is made directly by the patient.

Eye care services in Belgium are widely available and accessible to the general public. While eye care is not covered by the country’s universal health insurance system, private health insurance and supplementary insurance plans can provide partial reimbursement. Additionally, some eye care procedures are covered by the government’s healthcare system. Eye care professionals in Belgium include optometrists, ophthalmologists, orthoptists, and opticians, each offering a range of services to meet the needs of patients.


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In this short video, we dive into the significant health care updates and changes happening globally in 2024. From Germany's insurance cost adjustments to Cyprus's renewed COVID-19 precautions, we cover the essential news you need to know.

Germany's Health Insurance Update:

Starting in 2024, residents in Germany will see a slight increase in their health insurance costs, with a 0.1% rise to a maximum of 1.7%. This adjustment aims to expand coverage for medical care not currently included in statutory health insurance, such as select dental treatments, IVF, and early cancer screenings.

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With over 3000 new COVID-19 cases, Cyprus is stepping up its game by reintroducing health measures. Requirements now include proof of a negative COVID-19 test for entry into various facilities, emphasizing the importance of vaccination, especially for the elderly, to combat the evolving virus strains.

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Trieste launches an initiative for free health screenings, including echocardiograms and blood tests, focusing on preventive care against non-communicable diseases. This move underscores the city's commitment to improving public health through early detection and prevention.

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Madrid introduces a groundbreaking app offering reliable health advice to counteract the widespread misinformation online. This app, part of the 'Madrid Te Cuida' initiative, will guide users to accurate information, from diet tips to medical queries, ensuring the advice is vetted by health professionals.

Expat Satisfaction with Healthcare in Mexico:

A study reveals that expat retirees in Mexico are largely content with the healthcare quality and costs, with many citing significant savings compared to the United States without compromising on care quality. This insight sheds light on the growing trend of healthcare tourism and relocation for medical reasons.

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