Belgium consistently scores well in all the main indicators of good living and is good location for expats to live. Belgium offers many top attractions in spades: It’s the home of the European Union, a short trip to a number of international capitals, has three official languages (French, Dutch and German) and a sizeable international community. Beyond that, it’s also famous for chocolate and beer. For expats who are ready to embrace Belgian culture, moving to Belgium offers many new experiences.
Healthcare in Belgium is financed through both social security contributions and taxation. Health insurance is compulsory. Health care is delivered by a mixed public and private system of independent medical practitioners and public, university and semi-private hospitals. Health care service are payable by the patient and reimbursed later by health insurance institutions, but for ineligible categories (of patients and services) so-called 3rd party payment systems exist. The Belgian health care system is supervised and financed by the federal government, the Flemish and Walloon Regional governments; and the German Community also has (indirect) oversight and responsibilities.
In Belgium there are public and private hospitals, university hospitals and polyclinics. Belgian hospitals are managed by universities, religious organisations, health insurance funds and social welfare organisations. They may be general or specialised; some have clinics and day units attached. Some specialists are full time, while others also work in private practices. As with general practitioners, people can arrange to see a specialist of their choice at any Belgian hospital if they are covered by patient insurance.
Education is compulsory from 6 to 18 years of age for Belgians. Belgium had the third highest proportion of 18- to 21-year-olds enrolled in postsecondary education, at 42%. Belgium's education is currently the 19th best in the world, being significantly higher than the average. The educational system is segregated within a secular and a religious segment. The secular branch of schooling is controlled by the communities, the provinces, or the municipalities, while religious, mainly Catholic branch education, is organized by religious authorities, although subsidized and supervised by the communities.