For several years now, the federal government has been releasing 165 million euros per year to reimburse sessions with a conventional psychologist or educational psychologist. Group therapies are also eligible. “From May 2022 to August 2023, a total of 8,428 group sessions were organized for 45,845 people. The Riziv reimbursed 3,150,652 euros for this,” says Laura Clays of Testaankoop, which requested figures from the Riziv.
Although the consumer organization certainly sees the usefulness of group therapies, it sees two major problems. “The 32 mental health networks in our country, each of which must optimize the offer in their region, now determine for themselves which therapies are reimbursed and which are not. No criteria are provided, which means that some therapies are reimbursed in one region and not in another. Moreover, some networks approach this selection more scientifically than others,” says Clays. “Tax money that the government spends on potentially useless treatments cannot go to interventions that do work and are safe.”
Testaankoop presented its findings to the office of Minister of Health Frank Vandenbroucke (Vooruit). They are already planning to set up a ‘database with EBP practices’ (evidence-based practice) to support the networks and psychologists. Work would also be done on more guidelines and further training for psychologists.