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Healthcare for children in Belgium

Most children’s vaccines are provided free but your paediatrician will charge for the consultation. For free vaccinations, go to ONE, the French-speaking community’s Office for Birth and Childhood, which organizes free medical services for children aged up to six.

Its Flemish equivalent, Kind en Gezin, similarly offers free vaccinations and babycare. Daycare centres recognised by ONE and Kind en Gezin also vaccinate babies and toddlers regularly and, once the child is in school, there is a compulsory medical checkup once a year. An up-to-date vaccine record is required for all children before they can enter daycare and school. The Community Help Service in Brussels provides therapy as well as psychological testing for children.

Keeping a record

When a child is born in Belgium, the parents are provided with a chart called Carnet de l'Enfant which is to be taken to any doctor’s appointment or medical meeting. All vaccinations should be recorded here for the first 18 month’s of the child’s life.

A representative of Kind en Gezin and ONE will also visit you while you are in hospital to give you information about support during the post-natal period and the health clinics it holds. These are worth attending since most vaccinations are free. Once you are home, you will be visited by either a ONE or a Kind en Gezin midwife who and will want to see where your baby sleeps and make sure you have a safe environment in which to care for your child. They will also weigh your baby and lead you through the vaccinations offered in Belgium.

Growing up

Children can be seen by their own GP for minor ailments but will be regularly checked by a paediatrician or child medical expert under the arrangements provided by the ONE and Kind en Gezin. Their services are free of charge and they will verify that growth and general physical development are progressing normally.

(Photocredit: L. Runnels)

RB

Categories:   Health

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