"You need to be a mathematician"

A new survey suggests that Belgians are quite pleased with the care that they receive in hospitals. On the whole staff are friendly too, but there is a problem in the way that hospitals communicate with patients about their costs.

Four out of five respondents in a survey carried out by the consultants Brandhome feel that hospitals should improve the way that they communicate with patients about the cost of their stay in hospital.

Eric Saelens: "Patients who are unhappy with information about the cost of their stay in hospital are particularly concerned about the lack of transparency. Often they are unaware how much cash will be reimbursed by the health insurance funds."

"Patients focus on the role of the hospital because they receive their bill from the hospital. Of course other parties are also involved. There are also the doctors and the health insurance funds that also have a role to play."

"The main qualm is the lack of overall transparency about the real cost of a treatment."

"One of our respondents put it marvellously. He said:' you need to be a mathematician to understand the hospital's bill'".