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Marker Why Belgium?

One reason to visit Belgium is Bruges, Belgium's Ancient an Historical City...

A visit to Ypres (Ieper) the historical first world war museum, graves, and trenches. The last post is still played at Ieper daily at 20.00 hrs.


Reasons to consider Belgium for surgery ...

When Considering Surgery Overseas there are a number of factors you should consider in choosing a top class facility and surgeon?

The Sunday Times and David Hancock, the author of The Complete Medical Tourist suggest a number of things that should be considered before opting for overseas surgery.

Be realistic A stay in a tropical location may sound alluring, but could you get the same treatment or better nearer home? India has fantastic medical centers but it is a nine-hour flight away. Think of the cost of taking a companion along to accompany you too.

Think of the physical implications of the journey a day in economy class is a long time, business class is comfier but much more expensive.

Stay in constant touch with the medical facility you have chosen. Ask which doctor will be performing the operation, how many he has done before.

Ask what kind of post-operative support the facility has.

What arrangements are made for transfers between the airport and the medical center on arrival and departure.

What arrangements are made for your carer?

Ask for testimonials of patients who have undergone procedures at the medical facility. Contact the people personally.

Where a prosthetic unit is being fitted? Who is the manufacturer? What is it made of? a good reliable prosthesis should last well over 15 years but a bad generic unit may only last 2 or three. A leading manufacturers unit has the security of a guarantee should any problems arise later on. Please remember if your having a prosthetic fitted in a country such as India, China, or Turkey prices will be cheaper by far but the prosthetic is almost certainly an inferior generic copy locally made with no guarantees.

Who is fitting the unit? Skill level is important, you need to ask how many procedures the surgeon carries out each year; more practiced means higher skill. A good surgeon will undertake a procedure more than 150 times a year.

What length of hospital stay? Some facilities send the patient home after a few days following major surgery, usually to save money or beds. This doesn't’t necessarily give sufficient time to ensure that patient is fully recovered.

Physiotherapy? Look for a fully equipped physiotherapy department where patients will receive 2 hours per day, one-on-one physiotherapy. Expect a minimum of one week’s physiotherapy and to be in a condition to walk with the aid of a stick when discharged. Remember if you are older, say in your late seventies, or are relatively unfit then you may need additional physiotherapy.

Does the facility permit an extended stay? If you plan to travel a long distance or take a long haul flight then consider adding an additional weeks stay.

Is the surgeon or hospital Insured for medical liability? Our research indicates that hospitals and surgeons in Latvia are not insured. With the emergence of eastern European states in the healthcare market, are the rudimentary facilities in these locations fully insured? A facility or surgeon should carry an insurance equivalent to €5 million per incident cover.

What happens if something goes wrong? does the booking agent or facility carry an overrun insurance? if you are left in intensive acre for an additional weeks stay plus additional weeks of care the additional cost can run into thousands. DHI offers an optional insurance for such eventualities.

Blood Quality? What is the blood screening policy? European policy on filtration and testing of blood is very strict. Is the facility using blood screened to European standards?

MRSA & hospital borne infections? What is the MRSA policy? Does the facility have compulsory testing?

Languages does the surgeon and nurses speak english? remember the lack of languages may be more than an inconvenience if you are unable to explain a symptom or area of pain.


Interestingly if you ask these questions of the UK or Irish or American health services they fail on a number of points. Direct Healthcare International in preference uses mainly Belgian hospitals and clinics simply because:

  • Belgian surgeons and healthcare is the best in the world part of the reason is that the belgian government invest far more in their health system per capita than any other nation.
  • In addition Belgium has a 5 year testing program for drugs and treatments to come online for the mainstream population. Uk, Ireland and the US have 10 year programs. Therefore cutting edge medicine and drugs are often pioneered in Belgium.
  • Surgical skill is of the highest levels.
  • Belgian hospitals are the best equipped in the world fro example Belgium has 18 pet scanners the UK has 3 and Ireland 1, Belgium has 3 Da Vinci robotic surgical systems the UK has 1, Ireland has 1.
  • Belgian hospitals adhere to the highest standards of hygiene and cleanliness.
  • Belgium has some of the lowest rates of hospital bourne infections such as MRSA consequently the patient to patient infection rate is nil.
  • Belgian hospital staff speak english.
  • All Belgian doctors carry €5 million per incident cover.
  • There are no waiting lists
  • All Belgian hospitals follow the strict European policy on filtration and testing of blood.
  • Prices are comparatively lower when compared with other countries such as the USA, UK, Ireland, Switzerland and western Europe.
  • The World Markets Research Center, a leading provider of independent business and industry intelligence, recently conducted a study of the Health of Nations. Belgium topped the 175-country list with an impressive 98 points. Perhaps it is because Belgium has the highest number of hospitals and universities, as well as doctors, per capita, and that the system is largely independent, which creates an extensively competitive environment. This, coupled with the many years of expert training received by doctors and surgeons, gives levels of expertise envied by other healthcare systems.
  • European Heart Journal analysis of 24 European countries placed Belgium top of the list for the best heart treatment in Europe (Daily Mail, Sat 29th March 2003) the UK came 22 out of the 24 countries.
  • Belgian secondary infection rates average less than 0.05%; in the UK they are averaging 10% and in some areas increasing. Belgium's spotlessly clean hospitals and theatres have no significant problems of secondary infections and cases of MRSA are non-existent.
  • Patients are accommodated in twin bedded rooms with en suite facilities and multi channel TV with English programs. "Patients enjoy levels of comfort and privacy often denied them in the UK" Daily Mail.
  • Belgian hospital's independent status means that revenues and profits are ploughed back into new equipment. This enables hospitals to have a purchasing budget envied by hospitals elsewhere. Two hospitals in Belgium run their own helicopters; there are 12 PET scanners in Belgium as opposed to 4 in the UK and 1 in Ireland. Equipment is the latest and kept up to date.

Direct Healthcare International Limited has successfully treated hundreds of patients. We make it so easy by keeping things simple and providing a comprehensive support service to all our patients and their accompanying relatives. Local patient liaison officers visit patients on a regular basis. Cable TV with English programs is provided as well as bedside phones. Patients and relatives are ferried to and from the airport or train station. All patients' comforts and needs are catered for.



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