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Pre-treatment healthcare quotes proposed
Health minister Laurette Onkelinx is working on the reform of hospital budgets. One proposal is the transition to a ‘package system’ per disease, and Onkelinx is not opposed to the idea of hospitals giving patients quotes before treatment is carried out. According to a study by the health insurer Mutualités Chrétiennes, in eight out of 10 cases the patient has only a very vague idea of the size of the bill that awaits them after a stay in hospital, when the law guarantees total cost transparency. Mutualités Chrétiennes points the finger at complicated admission forms that must be signed on the day of admission and the fact that 88% of doctors do not offer information about the cost of the proposed procedure unless prompted. The Belgian Association of Medical Unions fears that the quality of care may be affected, especially if hospitals turn their backs on serious illnesses or opt for cheaper remedies. Hospitals are thought to be in favour of the proposals.