Calls to 112 and 1733requiring medical intervention are handled by the operators of the 112 centres via the Belgian Medical Regulation Manual. This manual provides an integrated set of medical protocols to uniformly determine the severity level of emergency calls by emergency centre operators and maintain the quality of service. It offers guidelines to staff members as to which resource (MUG, PIT, ambulance, on-call service, house call or own GP ) should be sent out or which actions should be recommended in a specific situation.
In the context of the coronavirus crisis, a new protocol was temporarily developed to respond adequately to calls from people potentially infected with COVID-19. Depending on the progress of the scientific knowledge on the virus, this medical protocol was revised and corrected several times, taking into account the Sciensano guidelines.
The 112 medical directorates and/or deputy medical directorates and the nursing regulators, who are part of the Emergency Assistance department of the FPS HSFCE, are present in the emergency centres to support and advise operators. Throughout the crisis, the medical directorates accompanied the 112 operators in monitoring the evolution of the COVID-19 protocols to ensure efficient and effective handling of calls for assistance in relation to coronavirus.
More information on the Belgian Medical Regulation Manual: www.health.belgium.be
1733 is a central telephone number in Belgium to reach an on-call GP in the event of non-urgent medical assistance (see also the chapter ‘Care activity’)
See ‘Key data in healthcare – Emergency medical and psychosocial assistance’ for more information on how the different channels work.