Emergency Medical Services in Belgium

If there is one thing you remember from this article, it's this: In case of life-threatening situations, call 112 for an ambulance.

International House Leuven
12 January 2024

What to do in case of a medical emergency?

In case of life-threatening situations, call 112 for an ambulance or go immediately to the emergency room (ER) (dienst spoedgevallen or spoed in Dutch) of the nearest hospital. You can download the 112.be app, the official app for the Belgian emergency services. In the app you can click on the icons to contact the appropriate emergency service needed. If you do call an ambulance, you can expect to pay the fixed rate of 60€, this price is not dependent on the distance, it is a flat rate.

For non-life-threatening situations:

  • during office hours, call you general practitioner (GP) or huisarts.
  • outside of office hours or on weekends or public holidays, call 1733 or check www.8post.be to determine where you can find the most appropriate help for your issue - both are available in English.

    Don’t forget to take your insurance documents, your ID and possibly a debit card. In the event of a work-related accident, bring the documents provided by your employer and intended for the insurance company.

Emergency Hospitals in Leuven

Leuven has two hospitals with ER units. The ambulance will take you to the nearest hospital or you can go there by yourself.

  • Regional Hospital: Heilig Hart Ziekenhuis Leuven (Consciencestraat – 3000 Leuven)
  • University Hospital: UZ Leuven Gasthuisberg (Herestraat 49 – 3000 Leuven)

    The ER services of each hospital are open 24/7 and are accessible to everyone in need of urgent medical care. Be aware that the waiting time at the ER could last up to several hours, depending on the severity of your problem and that of the other patients.

    In both ERs in Leuven you will be able to explain your situation in English; for other languages the hospital will help you find a solution.

    You do not need to pay immediately for your visit at the ER. An invoice will be sent to you afterwards, by mail or e-mail. In the event of a work-related accident, the invoice will be sent to the insurance company of your employer (be sure to know the name of your employer's insurance company).

    If you do not have a health insurance or hospital insurance, the invoice will be sent to you for the full amount.

    After your treatment in the ER, you will either go home with instructions for your GP or you will be admitted to the hospital for further care and treatment. If you need specific medication after dismissal from the ER, you will get a prescription for the pharmacy. If necessary, you can find an on-call pharmacy via the website of w8post or by calling 0903 99 000 (paying phone number, 1,5€ p/m). In exceptional situations you will receive your medication at the hospital.

Helpful Dutch vocabulary

  • dienst spoedgevallen or spoed = emergency room

Other helpful links and resources