Almost all people in Belgium have a general practitioner and therefore they are a good source of information about the health of the population. The network of sentinel GPs exist since 1979. In 2019 around 120 practices participate over all Belgium. The coverage of the network is estimated at 1.1% — 1.5% of the Belgian population.
Data is reported on different health problems (infectious and non-infectious diseases). Therefore the impact of different health problems and their characteristics can be studied. Some of them are monitored continuously over time (e.g. acute respiratory infections and influenza-like illness). Other are monitored recurrently to gather data at regular intervals that can be compared and support the authorities in charge of health policies. Varicella, tick bites or suspicion of Lyme disease, and falls among patients ≥ 65 years are themes that have been studied in the past and are monitored again in 2019.
Health problems monitored in 2022 by the network:
- acute respiratory infections and influenza-like illness
- acute diarrhea
- sexual transmitted infections
- chickenpox, shingles or postherpetic neuralgia
- tick bites and/or suspected Lyme disease
- psychotropic drugs in children, adolescents and young adults
- advanced care planning (ACP).
The registration is done on the website of the network of sentinel general practitioners.
This project is funded by the Agence pour une Vie de Qualité (AVIQ), the Common Community Commission (COCOM) and the Agentschap Zorg en Gezondheid.
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