The situation in Belgium now (2 April)
Belgian public health insurance RIZIV/Inami has approved the reimbursement of teleconsultations by doctors and many other health professionals as a way to tackle the coronavirus and flatten the curve.
So now, Belgian doctors, specialists, speech therapists, (some) psychologists, hospitals, but also midwives and dentists, for example, are reimbursed for teleconsultations.
The measure applies to teleconsultations as from Saturday 14 March, the beginning of the ‘social lockdown’ rules in the heart of Europe.
Only a few days before, Belgian Medical order had published an announcement stating ‘teleconsultations can now be used by doctors in times of coronacrisis’.
This is how it’s arranged: care providers receive their ‘normal’ fee for teleconsultations, but the number of consultations is limited per patient or per week for example. Prescriptions are sent to the patient’s pharmacist immediately, via the so-called e-recipe service.
Many health professionals, hospitals and GP’s have started telehealth-services already. It seems like finally, digital health can expand in Belgium too..
AXA health insurances, the first to offer (free) teleconsultations on a large scale in Belgium since last summer, is no longer the only one.
Worldwide, telehealth helps to tackle the coronavirus and #flattenthecurve
With this, Belgium is in line with many other countries worldwide which all use telehealth to a growing extent to fight the COVID19-pandemic.
The case for telehealth has never been so clear now: it’s safe for both patients and health professionals, it monitors vulnerable patient groups, tackles fear and mental health issues and helps to enhance the capacity of the healthcare system.
It would be very useful to learn from digital health implementations all over the world together. That’s why we’re building a learning group of healthcare providers that have started teleconsultations due to the covid19-crisis: feel free to get in touch to participate (or mail email@example.com).
Next to that, we’ll keep an eye on what’s happening in different countries. All digital health-help to #flattenthecurve is welcome!
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