The healthcare system in Luxembourg

The healthcare system in Luxembourg

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Whether it's finding a doctor or figuring out how to fill your prescription, we give you the basics on healthcare in Luxembourg.

Getting to know another country’s health care system can be daunting, but is definitely worth the trouble if you’re planning on living in Luxembourg. Eventually, you’re going to need to see the doctor for something – even if it’s just something minor – and setting yourself up early will make it easier later on. All residents in Luxembourg have access to the free public healthcare system with an abundant number of medical and emergency facilities available in the country and nearby in bordering countries.

Luxembourg's healthcare system is one of the best in Europe. It has a high standard of state-funded healthcare covering each citizen with basic medical coverage and all citizens have the right to choose their doctor, specialist and hospital. There is a high level of care and medicine occupations, and a number of hospitals, medical centres, dental clinics, physical therapy and private doctor facilities. Here are something to expect when it comes time to visit the doctor, hospital or pharmacy in Luxembourg.

Healthcare in Luxembourg: The state system
The state provides free basic health coverage to all citizens, and all employed citizens and employees contribute to this system. All dependent family members are covered by family members who pay into the insurance system. Children are covered under their parents, and students are covered until age 27. Coverage includes most treatment by your general practitioner or specialists, any laboratory tests, prescriptions and hospitalisation.

All employees and self-employed workers in Luxembourg are required to make social security contributions, which in turn entitles them to Luxembourg healthcare. The spouse and children of employers living in Luxembourg are also entitled to healthcare. Read more about healthcare insurance in Luxemburg with our article on health insurance in Luxembourg.

Doctors in Luxembourg
You can choose your own doctor in Luxembourg, but make sure that your doctor is contracted into the state health scheme if you use public healthcare to avoid extra fees. General Practitioners have different hours than doctors in most countries and close on Wednesday afternoons. They also operate on an appointment basis known as a 'rendezvous', where patients can walk-in for appointments and surgeries. If there is a wait some doctors operate a 'take a number' ticket system, and patients are seen when their number comes up. Doctors will make house visits, and these visits are limited to a certain time of day. Search for a doctor by discipline or town in Luxembourg (in French) at www.collegemedical.lu. Also, doctena.lu lists doctors in Luxembourg and arranges medical visits so you can book online.

Hospitals in Luxembourg
Hospitals are identified by the international sign of a white H on a blue background. There are no private hospitals in Luxembourg; all hospitals are run by the Caisse de Maladie. You must have a referral from your doctor for an admission to a hospital if your case is not an emergency.

When going to a hospital, you should take your own clothes, robe and slippers, as well as personal toiletries and towels. You’ll also need a small amount of money to pay for telephone calls, television programmes, bottled water and other items offered by private services within the hospital.

There are three classes of service: first, second and third. First class includes a private room that you pay extra for unless you have a premium private health insurance. Second class is a shared room with two or three other patients and is the standard service insured. Third class service is a ward with more than three patients, and occurs only in certain circumstances.

Healthcare in Luxembourg

Emergency care in Luxembourg
The medical emergency phone number in Luxembourg is 112. Emergency care is provided by the emergency department at large hospitals and is known as 'cas d’urgence' or 'spoedgeval'. Treatment is free even if you have no insurance. Not all hospitals in Luxembourg have emergency services, and out of hours coverage is rotated among the hospitals in the area. The duty schedule is published in newspapers, and is posted in pharmacies and doctors’ offices, as well as at hospitals.

If you need a doctor outside normal office hours, you should first try contacting your regular doctor. It’s a good idea to ask your doctor early on how emergencies should be handled, as some medical systems and insurers insist on doctor authorisation for emergency services in all except life-threatening situations.

If you suffer from a condition that may need emergency treatment, you should carry a written description of the condition, the medicines you’re taking, including doses, and any other relevant details. This can be in English or the local language and will save you considerable time (and possibly your life) if a medical emergency strikes and you’re unable to speak for yourself.

Pharmacies in Luxembourg
Pharmacies can be identified by a sign displaying a large green cross. If you purchase non-prescription drugs from a chemist, you’ll pay full price. If your doctor prescribes the same products, your health care insurer will usually reimburse at least a part of the cost. Only doctors and consultants can prescribe medicine. Doctors are unable to provide prescriptions to the pharmacist over the phone, but the pharmacist may make changes after a telephone call to the doctor.

In many ways, pharmacists have greater responsibility for your health and safety than your doctor. The pharmacist may ask for a description of your symptoms, and they are held responsible for selling drugs or remedies, which could further illness or result in adverse side effects – even if the drugs concerned were prescribed by a doctor. 

Lastly, pharmacies are usually open during normal shopping hours, but there is always a duty chemist available for service during off-hours. You may have to pay additional costs for medicines purchased during off-hours and this is non-reimbursable.

Health in Luxembourg

Hospitals in Luxembourg

Hospital Center De Luxembourg
4 Rue Nicolas Ernest Barblé
+352 44 111
www.chl.lu

Maternity Grande Duchesse Charlotte
2 Rue Pierre Federspiel
+352 44 11 11
www.maternite.chl.lu

Clinical Pédiatrique Kannerklinik
2 r. Pierre Federspiel
+352 44 11 31 33
www.kannerklinik.chl.lu

Institut National de Chirurgie Cardiaque et de Cardiologie Interventionnelle
2 A r. Nicolas-Ernest Barblé
+352 26 25 50 00
www.incci.lu

CHL Luxembourg
Hostel Auberge de Jeunesse
2 Rue du Fort Olisy
+352 44 111
www.chl.lu

Hospital Center Emile Mayrisch
+352 57 111
www.chem.lu

Hospital Kirchberg
Luxembourg City
+352 24 681
www.hkb.lu

CHdN - Centre Hospitalier du Nord
Ettelbruck
+352 81 661
www.chdn.lu

Medical Center Clinique Sainte Marie
Esch-sur-Alzette
+352 57 12 31
www.csm.lu

Clinical Private Dr E.bohler
Hospital Kirchberg, Luxembourg City
+352 26 33 31
www.cbk.lu

Centre Hospitalier Neuro - Psychiatrique
9012 Ettelbruck
17 Avenue des Alliés
+352 26 82 37 00

Caisse de Maladie des Ouvriers – CMO (Sickness Insurance Fund for Manual Workers)
125 Route d’Esch
L-2973 Luxembourg Ville
Telephone: 00352 49 83 311
E-mail: ucm@secu.lu

Information in English is available online from the organismes de sécurité sociale (social security) CCSS website.

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1 Comment To This Article

  • Patrick posted:

    on 29th September 2013, 20:52:40 - Reply

    Dear Expatica reader,

    doctena.lu helps patients find a doctor in Luxembourg and arrange their next medical visit.

    We do think that our services will be particularly appreciated by the international community in Luxembourg. Therefore doctena.lu is multilingual and does allow to filter the doctors according to their language skills.

    33% of users do visit the site in english language.

    Best regards,
    Patrick Kersten - founder