Belgium National OT News

News from Belgium, August 2015

National:
First off all, we would acknowledge the work done as ”voluntary ” by all the members of the national and regional associations. It is not easy to combine the profession, the family and the work for the association. We take this opportunity to officially thank them for their involvement, the work and the time spent to promote our profession and represent us in the meetings with the various commissions of the Health Ministry.
Pierre Seeuws is the new president of the National Federation and also of the Vlaams Ergotherapeutenverbond.

We continue working with the Health Ministry for registration and evaluation of continuing education. This procedure is valid for all paramedical professions and we are in regular contact and collaboration with all of them.

We are progressing towards a legal national association, for which statutes need to be reviewed and rewritten due to the change of legal statute of both regional associations. They are now “professional unions” and it is an important step to protect the members of the profession. It will give us more power in our discussions with the Health Ministry in the two regions.

Both regional associations are very concerned with continuing education and the main topics are: independent OT practice, assessment, home adaptation and accessibility, geriatric, publications,…
You can follow the evolution on www.ergobel.be either directly in French and Dutch on each website, or on Facebook.

Dutch-speaking regional association:
The website gives you all the information concerning the past and future seminaries, workshops, continuing education programme,…..

The association is involved in ”Icare4you”, first line care, Tetra project, interdisciplinary education programme, professional profiles easy to read for non-professionals, code of ethics, publication of ”OT and developmental disorders”…
More information: www.ergotherapie.be and also on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/VlaamsergotherapeutenverbondVZW

French-speaking regional association:
Marc-Eric Guisset as been elected as president of the ”Association des Ergothérapeutes” and the new union will also include the German speaking Occupational Thearpists.

The annual publication in French can be ordered from the online store which was renewed and expanded with recently published books. The next publication is in preparation and proposals can be made for 2016 to the publication committee.
The association website is the link for all information: job offers, activities of the different groups (geriatric, neurology, home care, self-employed and private practice).
The access to OTDBase is offered to AE members since January 2015.
More information: www.ergo-ae.be or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/associationergo

This report has been made by Marlies Suetens, Pauline de Hemptinne and Claire Valentin.


News from Belgium, January 2015

National:
We are working with the Ministry of Health for registration and evaluation of continuing education. Members of the 2 regional associations represent the occupational therapists at the National Council of Paramedical Staff, at the Technical Commission for Paramedical Staff and at the Commission of Appeal since 2014. (http://www.health.belgium.be/eportal/Healthcare/healthcareprofessions/Paramedicalstaff/CouncilsandCommissions/index.htm?fodnlang=en#.VLWNploZ28w).

Inscription with the National Health refunding organisation (INAMI-RIZIV) is also mandatory in order to work in private practice according to the new legislation.

Foreign OT also have to apply for registration in order to work in Belgium. Information about registration procedure is available on our website www.ergobel.be

We are making steps towards a legal national association, for which statutes need to be rewritten.

Both websites of regional association give possibilities to find the OT with the right specialty, information on accreditation, continuing education, research, self-employment and legal statute, geriatric, publications,…

You can follow the evolution either directly on each website and also on facebook.

Dutch-speaking regional association:
Lower amount of members (10-15%) seems to be a tendency year by year. A solution has been sought by proposing payments through domiciliary system, information in schools and eventually reintroduction of free OT membership for students, promotion material, folders,…

The website is being renewed (more interactive, with possibilities to make adjustments, VITInetwork, personal log in system for members) with possibility for independent OT’s to advertise.

The newsletter has a new layout with Flexious.

The association is involved in ”Icare4you”, first line care, Tetra project, interdisciplinary education programme, professional profile easy to read for non professional, code of ethics, publication of ”OT and developmental disorders”…

More information: www.ergotherapie.be

French-speaking regional association:
The annual publication in French consists in two different sections with 4 scientific articles and 5 professional experiences. It is distributed to every member in December and can be ordered from the online store which was renewed and expanded with recently published books.

The association Website is a platform where job offers are numerous: 82 were published in 2014.

The different groups (geriatric, neurology, home care…) are very active and are present on our regional website, where everybody can find information on their meetings and research. A newborn theme group has started in April 2014 for occupational therapists who wish to develop the profession as self-employed.

The association has been the interface to inform occupational therapists about: the professional insurance, the new practice related to stroke rehabilitation, the royal decrees concerning myoelectric prosthetics, specialised education and care in paediatric oncology/haematology.

The association has called for nominations in order to participate in the elaboration of recommendations for autism, in the development of the ICD-11 classification in mental health, in the genesis of practices for chronic diseases.
The access to OTDBase is offered to AE members since January 2015.

More information: www.ergo-ae.be

This report has been made by Marlies Suetens, Pauline de Hemptinne and Claire Valentin.


News from Belgium, February 2014

National:
Since January 2013, 8.422 occupational therapists have been registered in order to beauthorized to work in Belgium.

We are now working with the Ministry of Health on the evaluation of continuing education. This procedure is planned for all the paramedical profession and it will be a guarantee of quality for all patients in our country. Foreign OT also have to apply for registration in order to work in Belgium. Information about registration procedure is available on our websites. www.ergobel.be

Inscription with the National Health refunding organisation (INAMI-RIZIV) is also mandatory in order to work in private practice according to the new legislation. In December 2013, 726 occupational therapists have received the approbation to work in private practice.

Despite the fact that all educational programmes are WFOT approved, some occupational therapists have encountered problems to get the qualification equivalence in France and in the Netherlands.

Philippe Meeus has been elected as President of the national association.

Dutch-speaking regional association:
In July 2013, the first 11 master students have been graduated. The programme is a joint venture of high schools and universities in the Dutch-speaking region.

The association participate actively in the REVA fair ( biennial fair and symposium), EXPO60+, ”Move for Parkinson Classic”,…

Development of professional profile such as guidelines for home-based OT, description of competences, new trends, vision and tasks, according to COTEC and WFOT documents are studied in collaboration with the universities.

Residential care is developing and project for home-based OT are extended, including analysis of the needs of caregivers of elderly, difficulties to find independent OTs,…

In May 2013 a student won a prize for an informative game. It has been developed to enable elderly people to express their feelings and concerns when moving to  residential care.

French-speaking regional association:
The association organizes each year a session during which one student of each of the 7 schools present his final work (TFE). This is a way to promote their work and give the new qualified an opportunity to speak in front of a large public. We hope this experience will encourage them to participate to congresses in the future.

The association will be present on April 3-4 at the next fair ”Soins & Santé” organized for the health professions.

Some groups (geriatric, neurology, home care,…) are very active and are present on our regional website, where everybody can find information on their meetings and research. Independant OT, is the newborn group and is working on the promotion of OT home intervention to the patients and also to the doctors. A scientific group is also created to work on a new pamphlet for the promotion of OT.

Continuing education will be an obligation and the regional association is planning a seminar to inform the members of their obligations and also to meet their needs of continuing education

The online bookshop is offering special prices to our members and is one of our actions to encrease membership.

This report has been written by Marlies Suetens and Claire Valentin.


News from Belgium, May 2012

National:
The registration organized by the Health Ministry has started in March 2012. After January 2013, all OT must be registered to work in Belgium: it will be a guarantee of quality for all patients in our country.

This registration is also mandatory in order to work in private practice according to the new legislation. Patients are now refunded by the national health insurance system if they need evaluation of the home, advice for technological aids, information of the families and carers,.ADL and AIDL evaluation and specific ADL home teaching,… after their stay in an approved rehabilitation center.

Foreign OT will also have to apply for registration in order to work in Belgium. Information about registration procedure isavailable on our websites. www.ergobel.be

Dutch-speaking regional association:
The ”Woonzorgdecreet” has been activated : networks will be created to focus on assisting elderly to remain at home as long as possible providing assistive services (eg: cleaning services, meals, …). If necessary daycare, short stay or residential care are also available. Therefore OT’s are included in local and regional service centers.
The regional centers work with insurance companies (complementary insurance) and are are only accreditated if, per year, they have at least 30 clients needing OT care: home evaluation, adaptations,… In January a two-year evaluation period started before implementation of this project for free advice and home service.

An installation meeting for a home health working group composed of representatives (medical advisors) of different insurance companies will include, from April 1st, occupational therapists as advisors in work handicap or work rehabilitation. It will be a two-year project, starting locally with extension to the entire region.

A new professional profile, description of competences and tasks, is studied in collaboration with the universities.

French-speaking regional association:
The association organized in March 2012 a one-day conference in order to inform its members of legislation changes, to propose modalities of intervention and to share experiences of work as independants. This conference was linked to the possibilities for the OT to work in private practice due to the new regulation published in December 2010.

The different groups (geriatric, neurology, home care…) are very active and are present on our regional website, where everybody can find information on their meetings and research.

We will soon celebrate the 40th anniversary of our association and we are therefore getting ready to organize this event.

This report has been made by Marlies Suetens, Anne Ledoux and Claire Valentin.


News from Belgium, July 2011

National:
The registration organized by the Ministry of Health will start in October 2011 and already 6391 OT’s have participated to a survey: 4712 Dutch-speaking and 1679 French- speaking. Result of this survey concerning practice, study, continuing education,… will be available on national and regional websites.

Both regional websites are giving valuable information about registration, private practice, courses organized and also facilities such as purchase of books at good price, car stickers,….

Dutch-speaking regional association:
REVA 2011, a fair being organized every 2 years took place on May 5-6-7. This year, one day was organized as a “study day” with an academic session and a reception due to the 40th anniversary of the Flemish OT association and 20th anniversary of the workgroup ‘Antwerpse Geneeskundige Dagen’. COTEC and WFOT were promoted using posters and promotion was made for the next COTEC congress in Sweden using flyers.

Website: All PowerPoint presentations of events organized by the Flemish regional association are available (for downloading) on the website: at this moment “winter meeting”and “uiteenzettingen REVA”.

On the last Friday of September will be held an OT meeting. This year, the first edition will be on September 30th.

Courses being organized in fall : ‘AMPS’, ‘specialist-OT in rheumatology’, ‘OT method in cognitive rehabilitation’

French-speaking regional association:
A new website will soon be available with new possibilities for the “working theme groups” to share information between members of the group directly on the website, a brand new library, the “advantages” of the regional association, information regarding the registering process and the inscription to the social security system…

Different projects are also on their way such as a day of information regarding private practice.
The regional association also supported study days: this spring “Ergo tous Azimuts” (held every 2 years) and 2 other study days are in preparation for the fall.

This report has been made by Marlies Suetens, Anne Ledoux and Claire Valentin.


News from Belgium, September 2010

National:
In 2010, the Ministry of Public Health decided to start a procedure of registration of the occupational therapists, with the help of the national federation and of the two regional associations. The registration is aiming at giving an official status for all the medical profession and at establishing a profile of the practice, employer, studies, continuing education,….

The procedure is composed of 3 steps:

  1. The Ministry of Health asks all the occupational therapists to fill an inscription form on Internet to give their name and internet address to create a directory
  2. The Ministry will contact all the occupational therapists from the directory in order to participate to a survey. This survey is due to start in September. The professional associations will have access to the results of the survey and benefit from the collected data.
  3. Beginning of 2011, the registration process will start and the Ministry of Health will contact all the occupational therapists listed in the directory. The registration is aimed at giving to each occupational therapist, which fills the requirements to practise, an identification number. This identification will be needed to practise in Belgium.

In August 2010 more than 5.300 occupational therapists have already filled in the inscription form on the website of the 2 regional associations and are listed in the directory for the next steps.

Therefore, the Belgian occupational therapists living abroad are invited either to fill the form now to be involved or to register later on if they want to come back in Belgium to practise :

http://www.ergotherapie.be/Ministerie/Registratie.aspx.

Registering is an insurance to be able to practise if you want to come back in Belgium.

On the website of FNBE-NBFE, AE and VE, the requirements to practise in Belgium are updated and foreign occupational therapists can find all the information needed : www.ergobel.be , www.ergo-ae.bewww.ergotherapie.be


News from Belgium, March 2010

National:
To respond to a federal law, both regional associations (AE and VE) started a census of all the OT in Belgium to prepare the future approval process. This accreditation process will give the Belgian OT an official approval by the Belgian health ministry, which will be required into the future to practice OT in our country.
Since March 2010 a new law has been voted in favour of elderly people, to enhance individualized quality care in home health and residential care. OT is also included for 30 sessions/year mostly in regional service centers (included are housing adaptations), but also insurance companies have been involved (through agreements).
In the national health care system, the reimbursement of multidisciplinary (also OT) services for people with reuma is being considered.
Care pathway pay more and more attention to interprofessional platforms where different disciplines (also OT) have to cooperate and have to specify their identity (eg PT-OT)
Guidelines for fall prevention are being developed. Fall prevention in home health is now being extended to residential care.
The function profiles for OT in nursing homes and geriatric wards are being translated in French.
Dutch-speaking regional association:
East Flander gets regional financial support for project ‘AMBE’, which stands for implementation of outpatient OT at home for inhabitants of East Flander older than 65 years. These OT representatives of participant partners of the network are mainly connected with the local insurance companies, but also public health, family care organizations are involved. More info in Dutch (not translated) on the website www.ergothuis.be The regional association Vlaams Ergotherapeutenverbond (VE) organizes the mandatory education of the OT’s of this network. The 3rd module of the course has been given for 26 participants.
The VE also implements a specific OT part to the course for reuma specialists.
Another regional project conducted by universities produces didactic films to promote OT at home by local physicians. Reactions are very positive; however reimbursement of services remains a problem.
French-speaking regional association:
After the annual AE member assembly, our last president Olivier Ferrali has decided to resign. We want to thank him for his work and involvement into the OT destiny in Belgium. We also wish him good luck into his new position in his institution. Due to some other resignation a new board was elected. We are pleased to introduce you our new president Marc-Eric Guisset. The new board is composed of: Mathieu Louiset as vice-president, Ann Vandevoorde as secretary and Cecile Arpigny as treasurer. We wish them a successful work in our regional association.
For our next annual publication in French (RAE), we have begun a collaboration and text exchange with the French OT association (ANFE).

This document has been produced by Marlies Suetens and Mathieu Louiset.