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Other official information and services:  belgium

A stay in a psychiatric hospital (PH) or in a psychiatric department of a general hospital (PDGH) is often a stressful event. Patients find themselves in a strange, clinical environment with unfamiliar neighbours and caregivers, and they temporarily lose their social contacts. As such, it is important that, firstly, the residential admission is as short and as intensive as possible, and secondly, that the necessary after-care can be provided quickly and efficiently.

The aim of the MHC reform is to bring care as close to patients as possible, and respond to their needs and preferences in the best possible way. To this end, multidisciplinary mobile teams were set up to provide specialised care in the home environment of patients with severe psychiatric disorders.

Rapid intervention by the crisis team means that treatment can be started in the home environment, whereby hospitalisation may be avoided.

After several weeks of care by the crisis team, a long-term care team can take over the aftercare. This is also possible immediately after an admission. This makes it possible to keep the hospitalisation period as short as possible, so that the link with the patient’s home environment can be restored more quickly.

Number of crisis teams per region (01/01/2020)[1]

In 20188,894 patients have been supervised by a crisis team and 8,204 patients by a long-term care team[2]

Both the crisis team and the long-term care team came about through the application of Article 107 of the Hospital Act, the so-called bed freeze. The staff that no longer need to be deployed to treat patients admitted to a residential setting can be deployed in one of these mobile teams.

We stated above that the healthcare landscape was split up into MHC networks. Each healthcare facility within the same geographical area is part of the MHC network. The collaboration can take various forms. For example, it may be the case that partners (even without a bed freeze) make staff available to the mobile teams.

The facilities within each MHC network are not proportionally distributed. Some networks simply do not have enough resources to create sufficiently large mobile teams on their own. In such cases, the networks can receive a financial intervention from the federal government to recruit additional staff.

Number of FTEs per region (01/01/2020)[1]


[1] Source: Psycho-social Healthcare Service, FPS Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment

[2] Source: annual reports ‘Article 107’ pilot projects