From Big Medical Encyclopedia

BELGIUM, the Kingdom of Belgium — the state in Western Europe. The area — 30,5 thousand, the population — 9760 thousand people (1973), average population density 320 people on 1 The capital — Brussels (1075 thousand zhit.; 1971). In the administrative relation B. is divided into 9 provinces. Ofits. languages — French and Flemish. The political system — constitutional monarchy.

Belgium. At the left below — a geographical location in Western Europe (it is specified by an arrow). 1 — Luxembourg.

The most part of the country differs in a flat surface with soft climate. B. treats group of the industrial advanced small capitalist states. Idiosyncrasy of the industry — high technological level. In agriculture the leading role belongs to livestock production.

Rather high rate of the general mortality is characteristic of the natural movement of the population of B. that is caused in a certain measure by the increasing specific weight of the contingent of persons of the senior age groups in structure of the population. The contingent of persons at the age of 55 years is also more senior makes 24,2%, and at the age of 65 years and is more senior — 13,5% (1971). Decrease in an indicator of child mortality (tab. 1) is noted.

The nature of pathology — specific to economically developed countries. In structure of incidence cardiovascular diseases, malignant new growths, diseases of a nervous system, mental diseases and traumatism prevail. In 1968 in 26% of cases cardiovascular diseases, in 19,1% — malignant new growths, in 13,2% — vascular defeats of c were a cause of death. N of page, in 6,2% — accidents. In 1973 among infectious diseases were the most widespread: primary tuberculosis of a respiratory organs, epidemic hepatitis, scarlet fever, meningococcal infection, etc.

The ministry of public health care and welfare of a family directs health care, a cut consists of the general secretariat and a number of administrations: general services, public hygiene, social medicine, help to a family, help to victims of war, etc. The number of questions of health care is function of other ministries. Issues of industrial health care are resolved by the Ministry of Labour, school hygiene — the Ministry of Public Education, insurance on medical aid — the ministry of social affairs etc. Work of various departments on health care is coordinated by advisory body — the Supreme council of public hygiene.

Direct responsibility and health care lays down on a local provincial operating controls. In each province is available one or two inspectors of hygiene (doctors) who are carrying out fight against infectious diseases and control of hygiene of the environment. There are specialists inspectors on control of foodstuff, sale of medicines, on the management of medico-social institutions, and also the school hygiene specialist.

In 1970 in the country 474 hospitals in which 80392 beds were developed functioned (8,3 beds on 10 000 people of the population). Distribution of beds on types of hospitals is shown in tab. 2.

The number of the hospitalized patients in 1968 made 10% of the population; the average duration of stay in hospital equaled 14,2 days. Some hospitals are in the old rooms built in the middle of the last century. For expansion of bed fund, reconstruction and modernization of hospitals in 1960 the 15-year development plan for hospital business and health services in the country is accepted. However the plan defines only the general tendencies and considerably is only recommendatory as in the organization and equipment of health services the private sector dominates (it possesses about 60% of hospitals).

The extra hospital help is carried out by generally private medical practitioners in own offices. Most of specialists has agreements with bodies of social insurance which regulate character and cost of the carried-out services.

Separate groups of the population receive medical, generally preventive, the help in the special centers of health care. In 1969 in B. there were 339 women's, 1695 children's consultations, 113 antitubercular clinics, 71 clinics of mental hygiene, 506 centers of school hygiene.

B. has advanced medical and pharm. the industry which products are widely exported abroad. In 1969 4592 drugstores functioned.

In the country there are climatic seaside and balneological resorts, the greatest popularity from them got Ostende (see), Zebryugge and Spa (see).

In B. in 1972 there were 16 602 doctors (17 doctors on 10 000 population), 7107 druggists, 1959 dentists. In 1968 in the country there were 3615 midwifes, 9810 nurses and 6441 assistants to nurses. Training of doctors, pharmacologists and stomatologists is carried out at 6 faculties of 4 universities of the country (in Gent and Liege — state, Bruxelles — independent and Luvensky — Catholic, private), and also at medical faculty of the Antwerp university center. The release in 1969 made: doctors — 578, druggists — 229, stomatologists — 104.

Scientific research in the field of medicine is carried out at medical faculties of universities, and also at national institutes of cancer, tuberculosis, child care and in a number of large hospitals. The Belgian scientists made and make the significant contribution to world medical science.

Are among the leading scientists the immunologist Zh. Board and the physiologist G. Geymans which works are conferred the Nobel Prize, the hygienist and the sociologist R. Sand, the traumatologist R. Danis, the pathophysiologist, the pharmacologist and the radio biologist 3. Buck, biochemist and embryologist Zh. Brashe, physiologist F. Bremer, etc.

The budget of the ministry of public health care and welfare of a family made in 1970 15 130 million Belgian francs (apprx. 1570 francs per capita).

In the country there is an insurance on medical aid and on a case of disability, a cut covers 90% of the population. Funds of insurance develop hl. obr. from the contributions working and businessmen, and also grants of the state. Insurance companies compensate up to 75% of expenses on medical aid and medicines. Temporary disability benefits are paid from the fourth day of a disease of 60% of those earnings, with to-rogo the contribution to social insurance is deducted.

Bibliography: The fourth review of a condition of health care in the world (1965 — 1968), page 298, Geneva, WHO, 1973; Aimuaire statis ti que de la Belgimie, t. 90, 1970; World Health Statistics Report, v. 27, JVft 7, 9, 1974.

O. A. Alexandrov.