Increasing numbers of foreign doctors practising in Belgium

The number of foreign doctors practising in Belgium significantly increased between 2010 and 2015.

This emerged from a response from the Minister for Health, Maggie De Block, to a parliamentary question from the PTB deputy, Marco Van Hees.

The number of foreign doctors registered with Inami (the National Institute for Health and Disability Insurance) with a Belgian qualification went from 59 (or 4.8% of the total) in 2010 to 113 (6.59%) in 2015. Those who studied abroad went from 227 (10.5% of total) to 359 (21.09%) in the same period.

Of the 8,978 practitioners receiving an Inami registration number between 2010 and 2015, there were a total of 2,025, being 1,882 foreign and 143 Belgian doctors, holding a qualification obtained from elsewhere other than Belgium. Amongst these, 1,555 are still practising in Belgium and 135 have left the country.

Of this total, some 630 are medical specialists, 369 are training to be specialists, 109 are general practitioners and 42 training to be GPs. There were also 857 who received a coding with the skill type 000, which means both that they are not acknowledged as having qualifications in a specific field, and that only a limited number of their services are reimbursed under the Inami system. Three quarters of them will remain in this situation for the rest of their working lives.

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