BELGIUM - Medical Device Industry and Demographic Information

Shown below you will find some basic demographic and economic data, plus information specific to the medical device and healthcare industry.

Capital city: Brussels

Total area: 30 528 km²

Population of Belgium: 11 million

Structure of Belgian population:
0-14 years: 17%
15-64 years: 65%
65 years and over: 18% (2012 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
Male: 78 years
Female: 83 years

Currency: euro

Languages in Belgium: French, Dutch, German

Healthcare expenditures total (% of GDP): 10.6%

Healthcare expenditures per capita: $4962 (USD)

Expenditures on healthcare:
Government: 76%*
Private: 24%**

Number of hospitals in Belgium: 59 public, 151 private (2007 data)

Healthcare financing: Belgian hospital financing depends on the type of services provided: (1) services of accommodation (nursing units), emergency admission (accident and emergency services), and nursing activities in the surgical department are financed via a fixed prospective budget system based on diagnosis-related groups (DRGs); (2) while medical and medicotechnical services (consultations, laboratories, medical imaging and technical procedures) and paramedical activities (physiotherapy) are remunerated via a fee-for-service system to the service provider.

Medical device industry in Belgium: Belgium is a well developed medical device market being opened for new technology. Belgium is a small-size consumer of medical devices with 1 % share of total EU consumption. The medical device market was estimated at $2.2 billion in 2012. The market is expected to grow in the next five years by 4.6% to $3.2 billion in 2018. The domestic production covers less than 20% of the overall demand for medical equipment, 80% being made up of imports. The structure of the market is comprised of about 50 Belgian companies and a large number of multinationals active in production. Many companies also use Belgium as a distribution centre and thus many medical devices are re-exported to other parts of Europe. The strength of Belgian producers lies in the field of biotechnology. In Belgium exists straightforward reimbursement system - medical devices and procedures included on a national list "Nomenclatur" are reimbursed. This system was perceived as an advantage in the past but due to the need to increase the cost effectiveness of the healthcare the reimbursement policy is expected to be stricter.

* Government expenditures include all spending on healthcare passed through governmental agencies regardless of the funding source. Source: World Health Organization global health expenditure database. 2010 data.

** Private healthcare expenditures include private medical insurance, direct out-of-pocket payments by the consumer and other non-governmental sources. Source: World Health Organization global health expenditure database. 2010 data.