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Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ

WHICH DOCUMENTS MUST I PRODUCE WHEN I AM HOSPITALISED ?

When you are admitted to hospital, you will be asked to produce the following documents:

  • an identity document (identity card or passport); 
  • your SIS (healthcare) card or European health card; 
  • the request for admission issued by your doctor; 
  • the hospitalisation documents and insurance card (Assurcard, Mediassistance, DKV, van Breda...);
  • the particulars of your attending physician; 
  • the particulars of a contact person; 
  • your coverage document if you depend on the insuring organisation of a foreign country or an international organisation (EU, NATO, etc.); 
  • your charge sheet if you depend on a public welfare centre.

On the medical front, you are also advised to take with you:

  • the medicines you take regularly; 
  • any instructions from your doctor concerning allergies to certain medicines and foods; 
  • the letter from your family doctor or attending physician indicating the reason for hospitalisation; 
  • medical reports and X-rays that could be important for the treatment; 
  • the blood group and vaccination cards; 
  • a history of previous ailments and operations.

You will also have to sign several documents, including a regulatory admission form, used in all Belgian hospitals.

If you arrived in the casualty department where it was decided to hospitalise you, the formalities will be attended to later from your hospital bed or by your family.

WHAT ABOUT EXPENSES IN CASE OF HOSPITALISATION ?

A part of the costs relating to your stay in our hospital are covered by your mutual insurance. You will nonetheless also have to assume a part of those costs as a patient. Please note that certain interventions (such as cosmetic surgery, for instance) are not reimbursed by the mutual insurance.

The cost of your hospitalisation is influenced by 5 factors:

  • Your personal insurance coverage: if you are not in order with your mutual insurance, you will have to pay all the expenses (stay and services) yourself; 
  • The duration of your stay, according to your ailment, and speed of recovery; 
  • The type of room you choose: in most cases, the hospital can bill a room supplement if you stay in a private room; 
  • The status of your doctor (licensed or not); 
  • Any additional services prescribed for you by your doctor (pharmaceutical products, implants, prostheses, etc.) or which you have requested yourself (television, WiFi, etc.).

You will be requested to pay an advance when you are admitted to hospital to cover the hospitalisation expenses that are not covered by your mutual insurance.

You can pay this advance in cash, by bank card or by credit card.

If you are not in order with your (mutual) insurance, you will be asked to pay the estimated amount for a week of hospitalisation before you are admitted. The patient or his family will then be asked to pay a new advance after each 7-day hospitalisation period. 


You will not be asked to pay any advance if you have a charge sheet or proof of coverage by private insurance.

You will not have to make any payment on the day you are discharged to the hospital or to any service provider (doctor, physiotherapist, personal nurse, paramedical staff, etc.). 

 Your bill will be sent to you as soon as possible, about one month after you are discharged from hospital. An additional invoice may be sent to you subsequently.

MORE INFORMATION ON EACH OF THE IRIS HOSPITALS: 

CAN I CHOOSE THE TYPE OF ROOM WHEN I AM ADMITTED TO HOSPITAL ?

When you are admitted to hospital you will have to choose between a private room, a room with two beds or a common room.  

We will try to meet your request, but bear in mind that the number of rooms in each category is limited and that the hospital may have to deal with unexpected situations, such as cases of confinement. You will nonetheless be transferred to the type of room requested as soon as possible.

A supplement is charged for a private room in addition to the hospitalisation expenses and medical fees. You will be informed about the procedures and the amount of this supplement when you are admitted.

CAN I GET MORAL OR PHILOSOPHICAL COUNSELLING ?

Moral or philosophical counselling is enshrined in the law and the choice of counselling, religious or secular, will obviously depend on your personal convictions.  

Beyond listening and dialogue that are offered in moral and philosophical counselling, it is also possible to organise a ceremony with clergymen of your choice or simple between members of the family.

When you are admitted, the hospital will give a list of names of people who can provide counselling during your stay, as well as a statement to the effect that you can request such counselling if you so wish.

WHAT AID CAN I GET FROM THE HOSPITAL’S SOCIAL SERVICE ?

The social services are at your disposal, upon request, in all the care units of the hospitals in the iris networks, to assess your situation with you and to provide advice and support throughout your hospitalisation.

Their essential task is to provide quality social advice and support during your stay in our institutions by ensuring optimal conditions for your discharge.

Their remit includes in particular:

  • Listening to patients and their families (talks concerning problems relating to hospitalisation, acceptance of the state of health, etc.) and providing psychosocial advice and support. 
  • Assessing social difficulties that could stand in the way of providing comprehensive coverage for the patient. 
  • Validating the conditions for granting any aids and creating useful links with the public welfare centres. 
  • Informing patients about the legislation and intramural and extramural institutional resources (INAMI (Federal Institute for Health Insurance), CPAS (Public Welfare Agency), competent ministry, mental health centres, etc.), and helping them with the necessary formalities (sorting out their mutual insurance situation, applying for financial aid, formalities for benefits for persons with disabilities, etc.).
  • Assessing changes to be made in the patient’s daily life because of the illness and helping to implement the most advantageous solutions in agreement with the patient and, where possible, his family. 
  • Helping to solve social problems relating to the illness so as to regain maximum self-sufficiency.
  • Providing advice and support to prepare for your discharge from hospital and to organise the return home or to place you in a rest home where necessary.
  • Assessing the contacts to be made with medical and social institutions and reception facilities that will take over when you are discharged.

Do not hesitate, early on during your stay, to have a social worker or a member of the healthcare team come by.

SOCIAL SERVICES AVAILABLE IN IRIS HOSPITALS: 

WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE DISSATISFIED WITH THE CARE PROVIDED IN A HOSPITAL OF THE NETWORK ?

Questions, suggestions or complaints are important as they help to improve the quality of the care and service that you are entitled to expect, so please do not hesitate to apprise us accordingly.

If you are dissatisfied, we suggest that you contact first the department where you were attended to, and if you do not get a reply, to contact the mediation service with your complaints. This service is available in all the hospitals of the iris network.

The mediator carries out his duties with complete independence from the hospital. He is bound by professional secrecy, and is impartial and neutral throughout the entire procedure.

Complaints can be lodged in writing (letter, fax, e-mail) or orally (telephone, personal contact by appointment) with the mediator.

If you lodge a complaint to the competent mediation service because you think that your rights have not been respected (e.g. lack of information on your state of health, difficulty in accessing your medical file, unsatisfactory quality of healthcare), the mediator will try to solve the dispute with the participation of the patient and the practitioner(s).

If the parties do not manage to find a solution, the mediator will inform you about other options available for dealing with your request.

MEDIATION SERVICES AVAILABLE IN IRIS HOSPITALS:

For more information : FPS Health

RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS OF PATIENTS

All the hospitals in the iris network adhere to the "Patients' Charter" in which we inform you of our commitments to you.  Furthermore, we ask you to comply with certain rules. 

HOW TO READ BILLS THE HOSPITAL SENDS ?

  • I received a bill from an iris hospital, but I have never been there. There must be some mistake.

    
In fact, you recently went to see a doctor who sent a sample to be analysed in a laboratory of a hospital in the network. The bill you received represents the cost of that analysis.
  • On my bill, it is indicated that I am not insured. I have nonetheless always been in order with my mutual insurance. 



    The hospital did not have information concerning your mutual insurance at the time your bill was issued. All you have to do is affix a mutual insurance sticker on your bill and return it to the hospital that sent it to you. The necessary correction will be carried out. 

  • I never saw the doctor whose name appears on the bill. 



    You may well not have seen that doctor, but we are required by law to indicate on the bill the name of the responsible doctor in the hospital who covers the services of interns in the department for the day concerned; similarly, we must indicate the name of the doctor who carried out the laboratory analysis or the imaging protocols for your case, even if you never met him. 

  • I cannot pay the entire bill at once. Under what conditions can I qualify for an instalment plan ?

    To qualify for an instalment plan, you must contact the hospital’s billing service without fail (by e-mail, post or telephone). Once a reasonable payment schedule has been agreed for your bill, the hospital will send you the repayment schedule by post, together with a recognition of debt form to be completed and signed. In the absence of a recognition of debt form, the instalment plan is not valid, and the entire bill will remain payable. We strongly advise you against improvising an instalment plan on your own without warning us. In fact, in such a case, you may be subject to liability and useless charges. 

  • I have a charge sheet from the public welfare centre. So I do not have to pay the bill you sent me.

    You must be aware that the social welfare centre does not cover all expenses. You still have to pay various miscellaneous charges yourself.

  • I received a bill, although I had an occupational accident. 



    The occupational accident must be declared when you go to the casualty department or during the first consultation. You will then be given a document to be completed by your employer. This document must be returned to the network hospital you went to within 8 days without fail. If the document is not received, the patient has to pay the bill. The employer’s insurance may moreover consider that there was no occupational accident. In such a case, the hospital will inform you by post and will send you a copy of the insurance company’s reply, and then the bill. 

  • My child had an accident at school. Why don’t you send the bill to the school’s insurer ? 



    For a school accident, the bill is sent to the parents, who can then take the matter up with the insurance of the child’s school to obtain reimbursement.

  • I was taken by ambulance to a hospital other than yours, but have nonetheless received a bill from a hospital of the iris network.



    The ambulance as well as the medical team assigned to that vehicle come from an iris hospital. The invoices therefore concerns the medical attention provided during transport by ambulance. If the bill indicated “not insured” and you are in order with your mutual insurance, all you have to do is affix an insurance sticker on the bill and send it back. 

  • I received an invoice with an amount to be reimbursed but I am still waiting for the reimbursement.

    For technical reasons, it is impossible for an iris hospital to proceed to automatic reimbursements. You are requested to contact the Billing Department of the hospital (by e-mail, post or telephone) to verify the reimbursement claim and communicate your account number.

  • I formally contest the fee supplements charged by the doctor.



    From the moment you chose to stay in a private room, doctors are authorised to charge fee supplements. If you want a cancellation or reduction of these supplements, you are requested to contact the doctor concerned who will inform you of his decision.

INVOICING DEPARTMENTS AT IRIS HOSPITALS :

  • Brugmann University Hospital:  02.477.35.72 - facturation@chu-brugmann.be 
  • Saint-Pierre University Hospital:  02.535.37.10 - infofac@stpierre-bru.be   
  • Iris South Hospitals:  02.739.87.87 
  • Children's Hospital - QFCUH : 02.477.35.86 - facturation@huderf.be 
  • Jules Bordet Institute: 02.541.34.34 - facturation@bordet.be 

 

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT WAYS OF SCHEDULING A DOCTOR'S APPOINTMENT IN ONE OF THE NETWORK'S HOSPITALS?

 

Of course you can always schedule an appointment in all the hospitals of the iris network the “classical” way: on the spot or on the phone.  Please find the phone number of all the departments on the upper right hand corner of the homepage: “Search for a service”. 

But you can also schedule an appointment online. Click below on the hospital you would like to schedule an appointment with:

CHU Brugmann 

CHU Saint-Pierre 

Hôpitaux Iris Sud (onglet Demandez rdv en ligne en haut à droite de la page d’accueil)

Hôpital des Enfants  HUDERF 

I WANT TO QUIT SMOKING. CAN THE HOSPITAL HELP ME?

Good idea! All the hospitals of the iris network adhere to the Smokefree Hospital Charter.Upon request, our nursing staff will give you info on the various services at your disposal to help you quit smoking. Our smokers help centre (CAF) are made up of tobaccologists but also psychologists  who are trained to provide you with efficient and active support in your decision. If you really want to stop smoking, make an appointment with our tobaccology department. If you are hospitalized, do not hesitate to ask for a visit by a CAF representative.

 

HOW CAN I GIVE IRIS NETWORK DOCTORS WHO ARE TREATING ME ACCESS TO MY MEDICAL FILE?

Iris hospitals belong to the Brussels Health Network (called Abrumet). It is a medical information and documents exchange network , which connects all Brussels hospitals but also hospitals and GPs. Abrumet is also connected to other medical exchange networks in Wallonia and Flanders, so that the whole country is covered.

You can sign in at any time for Abrument and:

-give permission to share your medical data with doctors who are treating you now or will in the future;

-have access to your own medical file;

-see who has reviewed it;

-giver permission to doctors you have selected to review it.

 

You can cancel your registration at any time.

More info on https://www.abrumet.be/EN/patients/Pages/default.aspx

On your next visit to one of our hospitals, whether you are an in- or outpatient, you will be asked to register, because we think it is beneficial to your health and your safety. Think of the possibility that you are brought unconscious to the ER where nobody knows your blood group, your allergies, your prescriptions or medical history,…..

 

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