We are pleased to provide you with this publication as a source of information on some key figures and trends in healthcare. Following the success of our first publication in 2019, we at the Directorate General for Healthcare of the FPS Public Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment decided to make these reports a permanent feature. This series of publications is intended to provide an overview of the latest data and initiatives related to the operation of various sectors of the healthcare industry.
Whether you are a healthcare provider, policymaker, researcher or simply interested in developments in this field, this publication is here to inform and inspire you.
In this report, you will find a wide range of topics ranging from the organisation to the activities and financing of general hospitals. In addition to these figures, we will also briefly explain various policy initiatives, such as how hospital networks are organised and the actions undertaken to promote quality. We have tried to present the information in an accessible and understandable way, combining illustrations, graphics and short descriptions. Hyperlinks will enable interested readers to refer to the source data or to more detailed reports.
Although we were rocked by the pandemic in 2020, which has had an unprecedented impact on healthcare, in this issue of ‘Key Data’, we have started using some new key figures in order to provide an accurate description of the latest developments and trends in healthcare. The pandemic disrupted trends and changed the way care was traditionally organised. Because of this, you will see throughout the report that we have chosen to work with pre-pandemic figures at times. However, there are topics for which we actually and very deliberately used the figures from during the pandemic, in order to properly highlight the reality that existed at that time.
We hope this publication will help you gain a deeper understanding of the complex world of healthcare and illustrate the commitment of each department within the DG Healthcare to work with those in the field to promote health and guarantee high-quality and accessible care for all.
We invite you to discover the inner workings of hospitals, and hope you enjoy reading about it!
Director General, DG Healthcare