Together, the health insurance funds employ 50 Community Health Workers (CHW). These CHW have the task of providing people in socially vulnerable situations with the necessary guidance and direction to and within the Belgian healthcare system. They make contact to inform people about health and health care. Community Health Workers help people on their way to, for example, the GP, pharmacy or health insurance fund. At the same time, they are very well placed to notice structural problems and inequalities in access to care. This approach should, among other things, expose barriers to access to care so that they can be addressed.
Identify barriers in access to care and provide support tailored to the individual with the aim of: recognising the need for care by the person himself, reducing and, if possible, removing those barriers
Guiding people to care and welfare institutions such as general practitioner, dentist, health insurance fund, , ...
Supporting vulnerable groups in the use of health care by reminding people of appointments, monitor appointments, give confidence and provide trust, listen to the people and valorize their needs
Strengthen health skills, paying particular attention to the needs related to the covid crisis.
Identify inequalities and structural accessibility problems within primary health care by detecting problems from real life experiences and demands for help.
The operation of the Community Health Workers in Belgium is still in a project phase. We are currently active in the following cities (click on the city for more info):
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This intermutual project is an initiative of the Federal Minister of Public Health, Frank Vandenbroucke. The financing of the project was established through an agreement with the RIZIV. The University of Antwerp is in charge of the scientific research linked to the project, which provisionally runs until the end of 2021.