Home News Free dental care for six to 18-year-olds

Free dental care for six to 18-year-olds

Published on 09/09/2004

9 September 2004

BRUSSELS – Around 1.4 million 6-18-year-olds in Belgium are set to benefit from free annual check-ups at the dentist, it was announced on Thursday.

The free check-ups will be introduced at the end of 2005.

The move, which was announced by Health Minister Rudy Demotte will increase even further the already hefty deficit in Belgium’s health and social security budget.

But despite this, Demotte insisted he would honour pledges he had made to improve health care in Belgium.

The minister said children’s dental care was at the top of his list of planned improvements.

Demotte explained that he would extend a pilot scheme which has seen free dental care offered to 15,000 pupils from primary schools that have large numbers of children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The health supremo said from the end of 2005, all pupils aged six to 18 would get one
free annual check-up and would have ordinary dental work reimbursed by statutory health insurance.

Treatment like orthodontic work would not be reimbursed, however.

This year’s health budget is in the red to the tune of  EUR 305.5 million and if health policy remains unchanged, 2005 will see a deficit of EUR 331 million, according to experts.

The planned free dental care would add an extra EUR 70 million to health spending.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian news