Belgium: Covid-19 – Coronavirus: serological tests now available
14 July 2020
Certain serological tests for Covid-19 have been made available to the public in Belgium. The tests examine for the presence of antibodies against Covid-19 and enable patients to know whether they have been infected in the past.
On 13 May 2020, a Royal Decree on temporary measures in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic and to ensure continuity of care in the compulsory insurance for medical care, was published, allowing the reimbursement of serological tests. The Royal Decree also regulates the reimbursement of various health treatments in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. Costs of serological tests can be refunded, provided that such tests:
- Are carried out in approved laboratories that meet Sciensano's (Belgium's scientific institute for public health) quality control requirements.
- Comply with certain biological safety regulations.
Given the scarcity of the tests, however, an application form, signed by a doctor, must be attached to a sample.
On 2 June 2020, the Belgian Minister of Health further announced on her website that the public can now request a serological test for Covid-19 to be performed provided that the specific test is included on the list published by Sciensano and the results are analysed in an accredited laboratory. The test will, depending on specific target groups, be fully or partially reimbursed.
Other tests, such as polymerase chain reaction tests are also available. The use of self-tests, which are tests taken without a doctor and without analysis by a laboratory, is still forbidden.
This article was co-authored by Lore Van Espen.
A prior version of this post was originally published by the same authors in Practical Law – Life Sciences, July 2020 Issue (Thomson Reuters).