Bariatric surgery in Belgium: organisation and payment of care before and after surgery
Health Services Research (HSR)
More than one in three adults in Belgium is currently overweight and 16% are obese. Furthermore, roughly one person in every hundred has had so-called “bariatric” surgery. In 2019 the KCE had already published an initial study on this type of surgery (KCE report 316, 2019), confirming that this operation is more effective than the traditional methods aimed at weight loss. But the study also showed that the effect is only long-lasting if the person permanently alters his eating habits and lifestyle and is subject to long-term medical, nutritional and psychological monitoring.
In this new report, in collaboration with the inter-insurance agency (AIM/IMA), we studied the way this monitoring is carried out in our country and how it could be better organised and financed. Our conclusions are that the way people are taken care of should be more uniform and multidisciplinary and should involve a serious commitment on the part of candidates for the operation. We also recommend that this kind of operation only be carried out in hospitals and by surgeons meeting certain criteria, in particular a minimum annual number of bariatric operations, in order to develop and maintain the teams’ expertise.
KCE Reports 329: Bariatric surgery in Belgium: organisation and payment of care before and after surgery