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Belgium Country Guide

  1. CountryFacts
  2. Health
  3. Media
  1. Intro
  2. Geography
  3. People
  4. Travel
  5. Embassies & Visas
  6. Finance
  7. Cities/Regions

Quick Facts

Region: Europe
Full Name: Kingdom of Belgium
Capital City: Brussels
Language Spoken: Dutch (official) 60%, French (official) 40%, German (official) less than 1%, legally bilingual (Dutch and French)

Belgium Travel Insurance

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Geographic data

50 50 N, 4 00 E

Elevation Extremes

lowest point: North Sea 0 m highest point: Signal de Botrange 694 m

Land boundaries

total: 1,385 km border countries: France 620 km, Germany 167 km, Luxembourg 148 km, Netherlands 450 km

Natural hazards

flooding is a threat along rivers and in areas of reclaimed coastal land, protected from the sea by concrete dikes

Natural resources

construction materials, silica sand, carbonates

Land use

arable land: 27.42% permanent crops: 0.69% other: 71.89% note: includes Luxembourg (2005)

Environmental current issues

the environment is exposed to intense pressures from human activities: urbanization, dense transportation network, industry, extensive animal breeding and crop cultivation; air and water pollution also have repercussions for neighboring countries; uncertainties regarding federal and regional responsibilities (now resolved) have slowed progress in tackling environmental challenges

Climate

Seasonal and similar to neighboring countries, with warm weather from May to September and snow likely during winter months. Required clothing Waterproofs are advisable at all times of the year.

Time difference

time difference: UTC+1 daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

Population

10,379,067 (July 2006 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 16.7% (male 883,254/female 846,099) 15-64 years: 65.9% (male 3,450,879/female 3,389,565) 65 years and over: 17.4% (male 746,569/female 1,062,701) (2006 est.)

Median age

total: 40.9 years male: 39.6 years female: 42.1 years (2006 est.)

Population growth rate

0.13% (2006 est.)

Birth rate

10.38 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Death rate

10.27 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Net migration rate

1.22 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.7 male(s)/female total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 78.77 years male: 75.59 years female: 82.09 years (2006 est.)

Total fertility rate

1.64 children born/woman (2006 est.)

Business Practices

Suits should always be worn to meetings and business is conducted on a formal basis, with punctuality valued and business cards exchanged. Transactions are usually made in French or English. Most Belgians speak either Dutch or French, but English is frequently understood and spoken fluently. Government offices are open Monday through Friday from 8:30 am - 12 pm and from 2 pm - 4:30 pm. Banks are open Monday through Friday from 9 am - 12 pm and from 2 pm - 4:00 pm. Private companies are generally open from 8:30 am - 4 pm while shops and stores open at 9 am and close at 6 pm.

Crime

Belgium remains a relatively safe country for expatriate residents and visitors alike. Visitors should take reasonable precautions because street thefts purse snatching, and pickpocketing are occurring more frequently. In Brussels, pickpocketing and purse snatching are prevalent in the metro system (subway, bus, and tram), and at Brussels' three major train stations, the North Station (Noordstation or Gare du Nord), the Central Station (Central Station or Gare Central) and especially at the South Station (Zuidstation or Gare du Midi). Travelers should never leave valuables unattended in vehicles, and should keep car doors locked when driving. Leave expensive jewelry, financial records, address books, and other personal effects at home or stored in a safe place during your visit. Travelers should carry only a minimum amount of cash, credit cards and personal identification. Belgian law requires that everyone carry some form of official identification, which must be displayed upon request to any Belgian police official, at all times. A passport suffices, and police are almost always satisfied if they see a photocopy of the identification page of the passport. In recent months, residences have been broken into specifically for the purpose of stealing high end Mercedes and BMW cars. Criminals have been known to enter houses, at times early in the morning when residents are asleep, find the car keys and then steal the car from the garage. Another technique is for criminals to wait near a house or follow someone to their home, confront the driver in their garage or driveway as they are parking, take the keys from the owner and then drive off with the car. Houses are being broken into by prying or separating an exterior door (to include garage doors) from the frame. Affluent areas where expatriates live appear to be especially targeted. The most common items stolen from homes are cash and jewelry.

Hotels

Belgium has a large range of hotels from luxury to small family pensions and inns. The best international-class hotels are found in the cities.

Communications

Belgium has a modern communications system. Telephone is fully automatic IDD. For operator services, dial 1324. The country code is 32. The outgoing international code is 00. There are public phones in all major towns and country districts. The cost of local calls is BFr10. Some coinless cardphones are also available. Telecards are available from newsstands, railway stations and post offices. Price: BFr100 and 500

Electricity

is 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Plugs are of the 2-pin round type. Electricity 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Plugs are of the round two-pin type.

Plug Types

E

Food And Dining

Belgian cuisine is similar to French, based on game and seafood. Each region in Belgium has its own special dish. Butter, cream, beer and wine are generously used in cooking. Things to know: Most restaurants have waiter service, although self-service cafes are becoming quite numerous. Restaurant bills always include drinks, unless they have been taken at the bar separately. In the latter case, this is settled over the counter. Under a new law, the majority of cafes now have licenses to serve spirits. Beers and wines are freely obtainable everywhere and there are no licensing hours.

National specialties:
? Mussels and chips.
? Endives with Bechamel sauce.
? Ardennes sausages and ham are also renowned.
? Belgian chocolate.
? Waffles. National drinks: There are over 400 beers brewed in Belgium, ranging from lagers and pilsners through to Lambic, made from wheat and barley, white and fruit beers, to Trappist monastery beers. Fruit beers, such as Kriek cherry beer, are a specialty. Famous names include Stella Artois, Leffe, Hoegaarden, Duvel and Chimay.

Tipping:
A service charge of 16 per cent is usually included in hotel or restaurant bills, although an additional tip may be left at the discretion of the individual. Cloakroom attendants and porters may expect a tip per item of luggage.

Nightlife
As well as being one of the best cities in the world for eating out (both for its high quality and range), Brussels has a very active and varied nightlife. It has 10 theaters producing plays in both Dutch and French. These include the Th??tre National de la Communaut? Fran?aise and the Th??tre des Galeries. The more avant-garde theaters include the Th??tre Cinq-Quarante and the Th??tre de Poche. Brussels' dozens of cinemas, numerous discos and many night-time cafes are centered on two main areas: the uptown Porte Louise area and the downtown area between Place Roger and Place de la Bourse. Nightclubs include Le Fuse, Les Jeux d'Hiver and Le You; jazz clubs include The New York Cafe Jazz Club, The Sounds Jazz Club and The Music Village (visit: www.brusselslife.be and www.trabel.com/brussel/brussels-nightlife.htm). Programs and weekly listings of events can be found in the BBB Agenda on sale at tourist offices. This also covers information on the many festivals that take place in Brussels itself. Tourism Brussels-Ardennes/Tourism Flanders-Brussels should be consulted about folk music or drama festivals elsewhere in Belgium ? the most famous of which is the Festival of Flanders for classical music concerts. The other large cities of Belgium, such as Antwerp, Ghent, Kortrijk, Leuven, Li?ge, Mons and Namur, all have similar (though less extensive) nightlife facilities.

Entry departure requirements

Note Belgium is a signatory to the 1995 Schengen Agreement.

Visa immigration information

Passports

Passport valid for at least three months beyond length of stay required by all except:
(a)1. EU/EEA nationals (EU + Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway) and Swiss nationals holding a valid national ID card.
Note: EU and EEA nationals are only required to produce evidence of their EU/EEA nationality and identity in order to be admitted to any EU/EEA Member State. This evidence can take the form of a valid national passport or national identity card. Either is acceptable. Possession of a return ticket, any length of validity on their document, sufficient funds for the length of their proposed visit should not be imposed.
(b) nationals of Andorra, Monaco and San Marino, holding a valid national ID card.

Visas

Required by all except the following for stays of no more than three months within a six-month period:
(a) nationals referred to in the chart and under passport exemptions above;
(b) nationals of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, holders of BNO (British National Overseas) passports and 'look-alike' passport holders of British Overseas Territories (except Gribraltar), plus British Indian Ocean Territory, Henderson Islands, Pitcairn, Ducie & Oeno and the St Helen Islands and dependencies, Brunei, Bulgaria, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong (SAR), Iceland, Israel, Korea (Rep), Macau (SAR), Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Romania, Singapore, Uruguay, Vatican City and Venezuela;
(c) nationals remaining within the airport on transit, except for the following nationals, who always require an Airport Transit visa: Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Congo (Dem Rep), Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan and Syrian Arab Republic, if not possessing a valid residence permit for the EU member states or Andorra, Canada, Iceland, Japan, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland or the USA.

Types of visa and cost

A uniform type of visa, the Schengen visa, is issued for tourist, business and private visits. All visas cost either US$44 (short stay; up to 90 days) or US$64 (long stay).

Note

Spouses and children (under 18 years) of EU nationals receive their visas free of charge (enquire at Embassy for details). The original marriage certificate, the spouse's passport and the birth certificate(s) for the child(ren) must be produced. Additional documents may also be required.

Validity

Short-stay (single- and multiple-entry): usually valid for six months from date of issue for stays of a maximum 30 or 90 days per entry. Transit (single- and multiple-entry): valid for a maximum of five days per entry, including the day of arrival. Visas cannot be extended and a new application must be made each time. Schengen collective visas are also available for group visits, subject to rules and regulations.

Application to

Consulate (or Consular section at Embassy); see Passport/Visa Information. The consulate operates an appointment system and all applicants must make an appointment before attending the visa section (tel: (09065) 540 777; for those who reside in the London area. For those not leaving in the London area, applications can be made by post and a self-addressed special delivery envelope for return of passport must be enclosed with the application). Travelers visiting just one Schengen country should apply to the Consulate of that country; travelers visiting more than one Schengen country should apply to the Consulate of the country in which their longest stay is situated. The Belgian Embassy will only issue a visa if the longest stay of the visit is to Belgium.

Application requirements

(a) Passport or official travel documents valid for at least three months after proposed stay with blank pages to affix visa stamp. (b) Completed and signed application form. (c) One passport-size photo. (d) Proof of sufficient funds to cover stay and to cover return to country of origin/transit to onwards country, plus funds to cover any possible medical expenses. This includes access to at least ?38 per day if residing with an individual in Belgium, or ?50 per day if residing in a hotel. If applying with a guarantor, the guarantor must have a minimum net income (enquire at Embassy for further details). (e) Valid travel insurance, with a minimum cover of ?30,000. (f) Proof of purpose of stay such as a letter of invitation from a host in Belgium, a return ticket or hotel booking. (g) Letter from employer or from solicitor or bank manager if self-employed. If a student, letter from school or college confirming attendance. (h) Stamped, self-addressed registered envelope for postal applications. If visiting friends or family in Belgium, sponsorship from person in Belgium must be submitted along with business letter (with proof that national is a paid employee), providing evidence of sponsor's income, and certified at the Town Hall at which sponsor is registered. (i) Fee payable by postal order only, or cash if in person. (j) Return ticket(s) to country of residence for some nationalities. (k) Documents substantiating the purpose and circumstances of the proposed visit. Business: (a)-(k) and, (l) Invitation letter from overseas business associate.

Note

Nationals may identify a Belgian national or alien residing or established legally, and for a long period, in Belgium, as guarantor for subsistence and medical/travel costs incurred, if national cannot guarantee their own ability to do so. The person acting as guarantor does not necessarily have to be the person who invites the national. If the national chooses to be covered by an undertaking of responsibility, the national must, within six months of the undertaking being legalized, report to the Belgian diplomat or Consular authorities. This rule also applies to nationals exempt from a visa requirement but wishing to gain access to the Schengen states on the basis of an undertaking of responsibility. Consult the nearest Consular section for the list of documents to be submitted that are necessary to legalize any undertaking of responsibility.

Working days required

48 hours to eight weeks, depending on nationality and resident status, and whether applying by post or in person. Certain nationals must apply in person (contact Consulate or Consular section at Embassy for further details). Visa processing can, on some occasions, take up to three months.

Temporary residence

Persons wishing to take up temporary residence (more than three months) should make a special application to the Belgian Embassy.

HIV entry requirements

No Test Required

Departure tax

Brussels Zaventem: Euro; 20.93. Brussels South Charleroi: Euro; 13.49. Antwerp: Euro; 10. Ostend: Euro; 10. Li?ge: Euro; 7

Embassies

Embassy of Belgium in the UK

103-105 Eaton Square, London SW1W 9AB, UK
Tel: (020) 7470 3734/35 (general enquiries) or (09065) 508 963 (recorded visa information; calls cost ?1 per minute) or 540 777 (automated telephone appointments bookings service; calls cost ?1.50 per minute).
Website: http://unitedkingdom.diplomatie.belgium.be/en
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 0900-1300 and 1400-1700.

Embassy of Belgium in the USA

3330 Garfield Street, NW, Washington, DC 20008, USA
Tel: (202) 333 6900.
Website: https://diplomatie.belgium.be/en/united_states

Most visits to Belgium are trouble-free but you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate international terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.
This advice is based on information provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. It is correct at time of publishing. As the situation can change rapidly, visitors are advised to contact the following organizations for the latest travel advice:

British Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Tel: (0845) 850 2829.
Website: www.fco.gov.uk

US Department of State

Website: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel.html

Currency

The Euro is now the official currency of 12 EU member states (including Belgium). Ten member states joined the EU on1 May 2004 but have yet to fulfil all the conditions that had to be met by the 'old' member states before adopting the euro. The first Euro coins and notes were introduced in January 2002; the Belgian Franc was still in circulation until 28 February 2002, when it was completely replaced by the Euro. Euro (?) = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of ?500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5. Coins are in denominations of ?2, 1 and 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cents.

Currency restrictions

There are no restrictions on the import and export of either local or foreign currency.

Banking hours

Mon-Fri 0900-1600.

Currency exchange

 

Credit cards

American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are widely accepted as well as Eurocheque cards. Check with your credit or debit card company for details of merchant acceptability and other services which may be available. ATMs are widespread.

Travellers cheques

Widely accepted. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travelers are advised to take traveller's cheques in Euros, Pounds Sterling or US Dollars.

City/RegionCity/Area codeFollowed by
Aalst / Alost(0)53+ 6 digits
Aalter(0)91+ 6 digits
Aarlen / Arlon(0)63+ 6 digits
Aat / Ath(0)68+ 6 digits
Ans(0)41+ 6 digits
Antwerpen / Anvers(0)3+ 7 digits
Bergen / Mons(0)65+ 6 digits
Brugge / Bruges(0)50+ 6 digits
Brussels / Bruxelles(0)2+ 7 digits
Charleroi(0)71+ 6 digits
Chimay(0)60+ 6 digits
Ciney(0)83+ 6 digits
Dendermonde / Termonde(0)52+ 6 digits
Diest(0)13+ 6 digits
Dinant(0)82+ 6 digits
Doornik / Tournai(0)69+ 6 digits
Durbuy(0)86+ 6 digits
Genk(0)89+ 6 digits
Gent / Gand(0)93+ 6 digits
Hasselt(0)11+ 6 digits
Huy(0)85+ 6 digits
Ieper / Ypres(0)57+ 6 digits
Kortrijk / Courtai(0)56+ 6 digits
La Louvicre(0)64+ 6 digits
Leuven / Louvain(0)16+ 6 digits
Libramont-Chevigny(0)61+ 6 digits
Luik / Li?ge(0)43+ 6 digits
Marche-en-Famenne(0)84+ 6 digits
Mechelen / Malines(0)15+ 6 digits
Namen / Namur(0)81+ 6 digits
Nijvel / Nivelles(0)67+ 6 digits
Ninove(0)54+ 6 digits
Oostende / Ostende(0)59+ 6 digits
Roeselare / Roulers(0)51+ 6 digits
Ronse-Renaix(0)55+ 6 digits
Stavelot(0)80+ 6 digits
Tongeren(0)12+ 6 digits
Turnhout(0)14+ 6 digits
Verviers(0)87+ 6 digits
Veurne / Furnes(0)58+ 6 digits
Waremme / Borgworm(0)19+ 6 digits
Wavre(0)10+ 6 digits
  1. Health Information
  2. Recent Disease Outbreak
  3. Hospital Database

Dental care

A high standard of dental care is available in Belgium

Medication Availability

Medication is available throughout Belgium

Blood supplies

Blood supplies are considered safe and obtained from volunteer donors and is screened to international standards

Medical facilities

Medical facilities are widely available and the large university hospitals can handle almost every medical problem. Hospitals in Brussels and Flemish-speaking Flanders will probably have English-speaking staff; however, hospitals in French-speaking Wallonia may not have staff members who are fluent in English. The Embassy's Consular Section maintains a list of English-speaking doctors. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services.

General caution

Recent medical and dental exams should ensure that the traveler is in good health. Carry appropriate health and accident insurance documents and copies of any important medical records. Bring an adequate supply of all prescription and other medications as well as any necessary personal hygiene items, including a spare pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses if necessary.

Specific concerns

The climate is sometimes uncomfortable for those with sinus conditions or respiratory ailments. Heavy concentrations of salmonella bacteria caused health officials to warn against swimming in the Ourthe and Semois rivers in the Ardennes in 1989. Officials also warned children and the elderly against swimming along Belgium's polluted west coast. According to one official report, 75% of the waterways in northern Belgium are heavily polluted while some are biologically dead. Hikers should take precautions against ticks.

Immunization

All routine vaccines (such as DTP or Td, Hib, MMR, polio, varicella, influenza and pneumococcal) should be kept up-to-date as a matter of good health practice unrelated to travel.

Disease risk summary

Public health standards equal those in the United States. Brussels and Antwerp have modern sewage and refuse disposal systems and water purification facilities. Tap water is potable, and dairy, meat, and other food products are also safe. Epidemic diseases are rare and are treated efficiently by Belgian public health authorities. The incidence of communicable diseases in most areas is such that they are unlikely to prove a hazard to the international traveler greater than that found in his own country. There are, of course, health risks, but in most areas the precautions required are minimal. High levels of immunization coverage have reduced the incidence of diseases such as measles and diphtheria. Influenza risk extends from November to April. Rabies is prevalent in wild animals, especially foxes, in rural areas. Lyme disease occurs.

Entry requirements

None

Recent disease outbreaks

No recent disease outbreaks

NameAddress
Academic Hospital of the FreeAlgemeen Ziekenhuis VUB Academic Hospital of the Free University of Brussels Av Laerbeek 101 Brussels 1090
Algemeen Kinderziekenhuis AZ Middelheim(Children's Hospital) Albert Grisarstraat 19 Antwerp 2000
Algemeen Stedelijk ZiekenhuisAalst en Merestraat 80 Aalst 9300
Algemeen Ziekenhuis 2Campus Wetteren Wegvoeringsstraat 73 Wetteren 9230
Algemeen Ziekenhuis Damiaan OostendeNieuwpoortsesteenweg 57 Oostende 8400
Algemeen Ziekenhuis Jan PalfijnLange Bremstraat 70 Merksem Antwerp 2170
Algemeen Ziekenhuis MenenBruggestraat 564 - 566 Menen 8930
Algemeen Ziekenhuis MiddelheimLindendreef 1 Antwerp 2020
Algemeen Ziekenhuis SalvatorSt. Ursula Salvatorstraat 20 Hasselt 3500
Algemeen Ziekenhuis Sint ElisabethGodveerdegemstraat 69 Zottegem 9620
Algemeen Ziekenhuis Sint LucasGroenebriel 1 Ghent 9000
Algemeen Ziekenhuis St JanRuddershove 10 Brugge 8000
Algemeen Ziekenhuis St. ElizabethLeopoldstrat 26 Antwerp 2000
Algemeen Ziekenhuis StuivenbergLange Beeldekensstraat Antwerp 2060
Auroaziekenhuis AVMinderbroederstaat 3 Oudenaarde 9700
AZ Jan PalfijnLange Bremstraat 70 2170 Merksem Merksem 2170
AZ StuyvenbergAntwerp
Centre Hospitalier Inter- Universitaire Ambroise ParcBld Kennedy 2 Mons 7000
Centre Hospitalier Regional de la CitadelleBoulevard du 12?me de Ligne 1 Liege 4000
Centre Hospitalier Regional de NamurAv Albert I 185 Namur 5000
Clinique & Maternite Ste ElisabethPlace L. Godin 15 Namur 5000
Clinique Antoine DepageAv H Jaspar 101 Brussels 1060
Clinique du Parc LeopoldRue Froissart 38 Brussels
Clinique Edith Cavell32, Rue Edith Cavell Brussels 1180
Clinique Generale Saint JeanRue du Marais 104 Brussels 1000
Clinique Notre Dame des AngesRue Emile Vandervelde 67 Liege 4000
Clinique Saint Joseph ? LiegeRue de Hesbaye 75 Liege 4000
Clinique Saint Joseph - MonsAvenue Baudouin de Constantinople 5 Mons 7000
Clinique Ste ElisabethAv de Fre 206 Brussels 1180
Clinique Universitaire St LucAv Hippocrate 10 Brussels 1200
Cliniques du Sud LuxembourgRue des Deportes 137 Arlon 6700
Cliniques Universitaires de Bruxelles/Hospital808 Route de Lennik Brussels 1070
Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc10 Avenue Hippocrate Brussels 1200
H - HartzienkenhuisWilgenstraat 2 Roeselare 8800
Henri Serruys ZienkenhuisKairostraat 84 Oostende 8400
Hopital de Braine-l'Alleud-WaterlooRue Wayez 35 Braine l'Alleud Brussels 1420
H?pital de JolimontHaine-Saint-Paul
Hopital de JolimontRue ferrer 159 Haine St Paul 7100
H?pital ErasmeBruxelles
Hopital ErasmeUniversite Libre de Bruxelles Route de Lennik 808 Brussels 1070
Hopital Eterbeek-IxellesRue J Paquot 63 Brussels 1050
Hopital Moliere - LonchampRue Marconi 142 Brussels 1190
Hopital Universitaire BrugmannPlace van Gehuchten 4 Brussels
Hopital Universitaire des Enfants(Children's Hospital) Av de Laerbeek 101 Jette Brussels 1090
Hopital Universitaire St. PierreRue Haute 322 Brussels 1000
Hopitaux Iris SudSite Baron Lambert Rue Baron Lambert 38 Brussels 1040
Institut des Dex AlicesRue Groeselenberg 57 Brussels 1180
Institut Jules BordetRue Heger-Bordet 1 Brussels 1000
Institut Medical Edith Cavell32 Rue Edith Cavell Brussels 1180
La Centre Hospitalier Universitaire St. PierreRue Haute - Hoogstraat 322 Brussels 1000
Medicare Medical CentreAvenue Louise 249 Brussels 1050
Onze Lieve Vrouwziekenhuis AalstMoorselbaan 164 Aalst 9300
Sint AndriesziekenhuisKrommewalstraat 9 - 11 Tielt 8700
Sint Franciscus XaveriuskliniekSpaanse Loskaai 1 Brugge 8000
Sint JozefskliniekRoeselaarsestraat 47 Izegem 8870
St. Augustine Algemeen ZiekenhuisOosterveldlaan 24 Antwerp 2610
Stedelijk ZiekenhuisBrigsesteenweg 90 Roeselare 8800
Universitair Ziekenhuis AntwerpWilrijkstr. 10 Edegem Antwerp 2650
Universitaire Ziekenhuis GentDe Pintelaan 185 Ghent 9000
Virga JesseziekenhuisStadsomvaart 11 Hasselt 3500

Media

Belgian broadcasting mirrors the unique political and linguistic nature of the country. The cultural communities, rather than the federal authorities, are responsible for regulating radio and TV. As a result, Belgium has two separate public broadcasting organizations, with their own regulations, running their own radio, TV and external broadcasting. Some 95 per cent of Belgians receive cable TV, one of the highest take-up rates in the world. The cable services offer dozens of domestic and foreign channels, including Dutch and French TV stations. The Belgian press is self-regulated by the Federation of Editors - to which all editors of major newspapers belong. A small number of media groups own the main newspaper titles.
Press: Principal daily newspapers are La Lanterne, La Libre Belgique, La Meuse, Le Soir (French) and De Morgen, De Gentenaar, De Standaard, Het Laatste Nieuws, Het Nieuwsblad, De Financieel Economische Tijd, a business publication, (Dutch) and Grenz-Echo (German). There is an English-language magazine, The Bulletin, printed in Belgium. Television: RTBF, the French-language public broadcaster, operates RTBF 1, RTBF 2 and international satellite channels. VRT, the Flemish public broadcaster, offers services such as Een (one). VTM and VT4 are Flemish commercial broadcasters. RTL is a French-language commercial broadcaster.
Radio: The network operated by RTBF, the French-language public broadcaster, includes stations such as La Premiere, Radio 21 and external service RTBF International. The network operated by VRT, the Flemish public broadcaster, includes Radio 1, Studio Brussel and external service Radio Vlaanderen International (RVI). Belgischer Rundfunk (BRF) broadcasts in German.

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