Belgium is a federal state comprising three communities, three regions, and four language areas. For each of these subdivision types, the sum of their circumscribed surfaces composes the entire country; in other words, the types overlap.
The three communities are:
- the Dutch-speaking Vlaamse Gemeenschap (“Flemish Community”);
- the French-speaking Communauté Française (“French Community”);
- the German-speaking Deutschsprachige Gemeinschaft (“German-speaking Community”).
The three regions are:
- the Flemish Region (Flanders), subdivided into five provinces;
- the Walloon Region (Wallonia), subdivided into five provinces;
- the Brussels-Capital Region (Brussels).
The four language areas are:
- the Dutch language area
- the Bilingual area Brussels-Capital
- the French language area
- the German language area
The information below has been divided by region, thus by Flemish, Walloon or Brussels-Capital Region.
Poverty and health inequality issues are explicitly addressed at the regional level, as action plans are in place for all three regions and evaluations have been carried out. Also, cross-sectoral approaches have been set up.
An overview of policy responses addressing health inequalities in each of the three regions can be found in our Policy Database.
An overview of local and regional projects and initiatives that are currently taking place or that have successfully been finalized, and that are addressing health inequality issues, can be found in our Good Practice Database.
Please find below an overview of key actors in Belgium working on health inequality issues:
- Vlaams Instituut voor Gezondheidspromotie en Ziektepreventie (VIGeZ) – Flemish Institute for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
- Vlaams Agentschap Zorg en Gezondheid – Flemish Agency for Care and Health
- Vlaamse Vereniging voor Steden en Gemeenten – Flanders’ Association for Cities and Communities
- Universiteit Gent, Huisartsgeneeskunde en eerstelijnsgezondheidszorg – University of Ghent, Department of family medicine and primary care
Social inequity in health care is one of their main research topics.
- Direction Générale de la Santé Communauté française de Belgique – General Directorate of Health of the French community in Belgium
- Action Social et Santé en Wallonie – Social action and health in Wallonia
- La direction interdépartementale de la cohésion sociale – Interdepartmental Directorate of Social Cohesion
- Observatoire de la Santé du Hainaut – Walloon Observatory of Health
Regional public health organisation which considers the reduction of social health inequalities as a priority.
- Centre Liégeois de Promotion de la Santé – Liégeois Centre for Health Promotion
Local public health organisation for promotion of health. Reduction of health inequalities is an explicit aim of the organisation.
- Brussels – Capital Region Portal
Includes a section on anti poverty and social exclusion issues.
Are you aware of any other key actors that should be added to this list?
Please let us know!
Please find below a short overview of key documents and resources (produced at regional level) addressing health inequality issues in Belgium. More publications can be found in our Publications Database.
- Besluit van de Vlaamse Regering tot vaststelling van de operationele doelstellingen van de Centra voor Leerlingenbegeleiding – Order of the Flemish Government establishing the operational objectives of the Centre for Educational Guidance
It is the legislative document on the Centres for Student Guidance. Preventive health care as one of the four core domains that should be covered by the centres. The centres’ role is threefold: (1) assist schools in developing healthy school policies, (2) screening to facilitate early detection of health problems and developmental disorders (e.g. auditory and visual acuity, puberty onset, obesity), (3) free individual counseling for 3-18 year old pupils and their parents.
- De Sociale Staat van Vlaanderen 2011 – The Social State of Affairs in Flanders 2011
This publication results of a multi annual research project at the request of the Flemish parliament to assess the social situation in Flanders. It systematically includes an assessment of the health situation, in comparative perspective.
- Onderzoeksrapport van de Vlaamse Liga tegen Kanker – Research report of the Flemish League against Cancer
Yearly report consisting of studies which underpin and inspire the advocacy work of the Flemish Cancer League. Several issues related to health equity have been treated.
- Avis du conseil Supérieur de promotion de la Santé – Opinion of the Superior Council of Health Promotion (2011)
- Atlas of Health and Social Well-being of the Brussels Capital Region
English summary available here.
- Health profile of the Brussels Capital Region
This document aims to provide an overview of the health of the Brussels population, set against the demographic, social, environmental and multi-cultural context of the Brussels Region. The first Health profile was published in 2001, followed by a second in 2004. The latest Health profile was published in 2010.
Are you aware of any other key resources that should be added to this list?
Please let us know!