Privacy (confidentiality) means that you have the right to talk to a person or persons without them passing on your personal information to someone else, unless you agree.

Privacy is also guaranteed by law in the following situations:

  • The OCMW (Public Welfare Centre) is obliged to respect your privacy. It cannot share any information on medical certificates or information that can be derived from them, with migration services, the police or any other institution. The OCMW can only use this information for the payment of medical invoices.
  • Doctors and medical institutions are bound by professional confidentiality. They are not allowed to share any information about their patients. There are some exceptions described in the law. For example: to protect a patient who is a victim of sexually abusive behaviour.
  • Social organisations such as CAWs (centres for general well-being) are also bound by professional confidentiality.
A doctor reassuring a patient that he will not share any confidential information

Privacy of adolescents

As long as children are financially dependent on their parents, they share the parents’ social security account with their parents, even if they are over 18 years of age. The mutuality (health insurance fund) shares information on, for example, tests and doctor’s visits with their parents. To keep this information private, adolescents can ask:

  • a doctor for a third-party payment scheme;
  • to have medical invoices sent to their own address rather than to their parents’ address.

This is also possible in the case of an abortion.

Privacy (confidentialiteit) betekent dat u het recht heeft om met een persoon of personen te praten zonder dat zij uw persoonlijke informatie doorgeven aan iemand anders, tenzij u daarmee instemt.

Ook in de volgende situaties is uw privacy wettelijk gegarandeerd:

Een dokter verzekert een patiënt dat hij geen vertrouwelijke informatie zal doorgeven

Privacy van adolescenten

Zolang kinderen financieel afhankelijk zijn van hun ouders, vallen zij onder de sociale zekerheid van hun ouders, zelfs als zij ouder zijn dan 18 jaar. Het ziekenfonds deelt informatie over bijvoorbeeld testen en doktersbezoeken met hun ouders. Om deze informatie privé te houden, kunnen adolescenten:

  • een dokter vragen om een derdebetalersregeling;
  • vragen om medische facturen naar hun eigen adres te laten verzenden in plaats van naar het adres van hun ouders.

Dit is ook mogelijk in geval van abortus.

More information or help needed?

Agentschap Integratie & Inburgering - Legal Service for Immigration Law
Information on law regarding residence status, family reunification, asylum and access to health care. Find a team in your neighbourhood:
02 205 00 55 (legal helpdesk)
Family doctor
You can talk to a family doctor about almost every intimate issue. If necessary the family doctor can refer you to a specialised health professional. Find a family doctor in your neighbourhood:
Community health centre (wijkgezondheidscentrum)
You can visit a family doctor in a community health centre. Other care professionals such as nurses and social workers also work at community health centres. Care is provided free of charge. Find a community health centre in your neighbourhood:
CAW - Centrum Algemeen Welzijn
Centre for general well-being - Help with all kinds of issues: a difficult relationship, medical, financial, administrative, legal or material problems, family problems,... CAWs also provide assistance to victims of violence and abuse. Find a CAW in your neighbourhood:
OCMW (CPAS - Public Welfare Centre)
This service offers social support and is responsible for the procedure 'urgent medical care', which allows people without residence status to access medical care. Find an OCMW in your neighbourhood:
Medimmigrant
Support for persons without legal residence who need medical care in the Brussels region
02 274 14 33 or 02 274 14 34
Info Point Residence and Legal Status - vzw Integratie en Inburgering Antwerpen
Information and advice on right of residence and other rights of foreigners in the city of Antwerp and also information about access to health care.
03 270 33 36
More health professionals

Dictionary and translations