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Other official information and services:  belgium

For several years, health care policies have encouraged a reduction in the length of stay in order to ensure efficiency and appropriate use of hospital infrastructure without compromising the quality of care and taking into account the specific situation of patients. We examine here, firstly, the evolution of the length of stay starting in an acute department (whereas stays started at the maternity are excluded)1 and, secondly, the length of stays starting at the maternity department. Between 2008 and 2017, the average length of stay in these services decreased by one day.2


A closer analysis of the number of days spent in hospital for acute care and maternity shows that just over half of acute care stays do not exceed 2 days of hospitalisation, and that the average length of stay for acute care is 4.6 days.

In maternity, in 55% of cases, the duration does not exceed 3 days and 80% of stays do not exceed 4 days.3

[1] Average length of stay in classic hospitalization: voetnoot dient toegevoegd te worden: Stays that start in a service for surgery (index C), internal medicine (index D), pediatry (index E) and  care for newborns (index NIC) are taken into account.

[2] It is the case that 81% of classic hospital stays correspond to acute care (excluding stays starting in maternity departments), which represented nearly 1.5 million hospitalisations in 2017. Maternity stays represent 7.6% of stays.

[3] Psychiatric and chronic stays are not included in these graphs. Stays longer than 10 days (9% of acute stays, 2% of maternity stays) are not shown in this graph for the sake of readability.