The standard of children’s healthcare in Luxembourg is good, with many services provided free. Here’s what’s available and how to access it.
Moving to Luxembourg with children? Then you’ll no doubt want to know about the quality of healthcare in this small country. Firstly, Luxembourg has high-quality public healthcare facilities and all residents have state health insurance. As such, children enjoy largely free medical care. Many parents also take out private insurance to cover any gaps.
Here’s a detailed look at children’s healthcare in Luxembourg, with sections on:
- Children’s healthcare in Luxembourg
- How to access healthcare for your children in Luxembourg
- Taking your child to the pediatrician in Luxembourg
- Taking your child to see a doctor or specialist in Luxembourg
- Children’s hospitals in Luxembourg
- Children’s dental care in Luxembourg
- Mental healthcare for children in Luxembourg
- Preventative healthcare programs for children in Luxembourg
- Useful resources
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COVID-19 in Luxembourg
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a difficult time for everyone. Many expats find themselves separated from family and loved ones in their home countries. As a foreigner, it is also sometimes difficult to find critical information regarding coronavirus infection rates, local measures, and restrictions, and now, thankfully, vaccinations.
For general coronavirus information in Luxembourg, including vaccination schedules and the latest official restrictions, visit the Luxembourg government’s official Coronavirus (COVID-19) website.
Children’s healthcare in Luxembourg
Luxembourg has a good quality public healthcare system, the country is ranked seventh on the 2018 Euro Health Consumer Index. Children can access mostly free healthcare through the health insurance of their parents or guardians until the age of 18 (or 27 if they are full-time students).
You can register your child with a family doctor or pediatrician in Luxembourg. Public healthcare in the country covers regular screenings, checkups, and vaccinations during the early years and school years. These are carried out by doctors and pediatricians in health centers and through school visits. You can also access specialist treatment at pediatric clinics and children’s hospitals.
According to EU statistics, Luxembourg performs relatively well in terms of child health. In fact, 78.5% of children from the top quintile and 65.5% from the bottom quintile of households are in very good health. This is better than the EU averages of 71.5% and 61.3% respectively. Notably, just 1–2% of children in Luxembourg have unmet healthcare needs. This is slightly better than the EU average.
The 2021 EU health profile for Luxembourg shows that the country outperforms the EU average in terms of physical activity and vaccinations for children. However, it is below the EU average for childhood obesity and smoking.
How to access healthcare for your children in Luxembourg
Luxembourg has an insurance-based health system. Consequently, you can access healthcare for your children through your health insurance policy. For most residents, this is the state insurance system operated through the National Health Fund (Caisse Nationale de Sante – CNS) and funded by mandatory employer and employee contributions. However, short-term visitors to Luxembourg will need to take out a private insurance policy that covers their offspring. Keep in mind that visitors from EU/EFTA countries, in Luxembourg for a short period, can use their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to access care.
Children’s healthcare in Luxembourg generally receives the full 100% reimbursement rate, meaning that it is effectively free for the user. However, you may need to have private insurance to cover supplementary or privately-provided treatments.
Public healthcare for children in Luxembourg
All residents can access state-funded healthcare for their children in Luxembourg. This is of good quality and provided to the majority of children in the country, with Luxembourg ranking 12th of 167 countries for healthcare in the 2021 Legatum Prosperity Index.
You can access children’s healthcare in Luxembourg by registering for health insurance through the Joint Social Security Center (Centre Commun de la Sécurité Sociale – CCSS). Your employer will often do this for you. If you are unemployed or unable to make insurance contributions, you can still access services through your local social welfare office. When you register, you will need to add any family dependents to your policy. If you have a baby in Luxembourg, you should add them to your insurance policy when they are born.
Free public healthcare for children in Luxembourg includes:
- GP visits and specialist appointments
- Hospital stays and treatment
- Preventative healthcare delivered through schools and health centers
- Dental care
- Psychiatric care
- Checkups, screenings, and vaccinations
- Prescriptions (usually reimbursed at either 80% or 100%)
Private healthcare for children in Luxembourg
Unlike many European countries, Luxembourg doesn’t have separate and distinct public and private healthcare providers. Rather, most medical professionals work privately but have contracts with the CNS to provide state-funded services. However, some doctors and specialists do only work privately.
You can take out private health insurance in Luxembourg to cover private-only professionals or healthcare not available through public insurance. Public health insurance covers 100% of the population, although additional private insurance is not uncommon. Coverage includes:
- Alternative therapies other than homeopathy
- Cosmetic procedures
- Supplementary care, for example, physiotherapy or counseling for personal improvement rather than recovery
- Personal conveniences, such as private rooms in the hospital or out-of-hours appointments
You will need to find out from your insurer what they will cover, what percentage of costs they will reimburse, and also whether you need to pay upfront and claim reimbursement.
Global private health insurance companies that provide expat-friendly advice and cover include:
These health insurance policies usually include cover should you travel outside of Luxembourg.
Taking your child to the pediatrician in Luxembourg
Parents in Luxembourg typically register their children with a family doctor. Pediatricians tend to operate as specialists at clinics, health centers, and hospitals. However, you don’t need a referral to access pediatric care in Luxembourg. This means you can choose to have your child cared for by a pediatrician rather than a family doctor.
There are 98 pediatricians in Luxembourg according to 2018 EU statistics. This works out at 16.4 per 100,000 inhabitants, which is slightly below the European average of 19 per 100,000. You will also find a range of pediatric specialists, including pediatric cardiologists and pediatric dentists, in Luxembourg.
Depending on their exact qualifications, pediatricians in Luxembourg may carry out checkups, give advice, offer treatments and also perform surgery. You can search for pediatricians in Luxembourg on Doctena or Collège Médical, which is the body that all medical professionals need to register with in order to practice in Luxembourg.
Routine childhood health checkups in Luxembourg
Luxembourg has a program of child health checks that runs through the early years and school years. Each child receives six compulsory checkups by a GP or pediatrician between the age of 0–2, and then additional health checks are available between the age of 2–4. These screenings aim to identify any special needs or areas of concern. Tests include:
- Neonatal screening via blood tests carried out at 3 days old to check for rare genetic diseases
- Regular monitoring of height and weight
- Hearing screening carried out at 2 days old and then again at 30 months old
- Vision tests carried out between 10–40 months old
- Screening for language or communication disorders at 30 months old
- Monitoring of motor activity, cognition, and behavior
The Socio-Medical League (Ligue Médico-Sociale) organizes free screenings for children aged up to four in Luxembourg. It also offers free consultation and advice on areas including breastfeeding, nutrition, and hygiene.
As mentioned, health checks continue for children in Luxembourg during school years. These take place in the third and fifth years of primary school and then again in the fourth year of secondary school. Tests include:
- Height and weight tests
- Vision and hearing tests
- Blood and urine tests
Vaccinations for children in Luxembourg
Routine vaccinations for children are free in Luxembourg. They are not mandatory but the Higher Council for Infectious Diseases (Conseil Supérieur des maladies infectieuses – CSMI) publishes a list of recommended vaccines and schedules for children between the ages of two months and 16 years, including:
- Hepatitis B
- Measles, mumps, and rubella
- Hemophilus influenzae type b
The Ministry of Health publishes an up-to-date vaccination schedule for Luxembourg on its web portal. Although vaccinations are not mandatory they are highly recommended.
Taking your child to see a doctor or specialist in Luxembourg
Doctors typically act as the first point of care for children in Luxembourg. They often carry out standard checkups and screenings, referring to specialists as necessary.
You can register your child with your choice of GP. Of course, you’ll need the child’s ID, such as a birth certificate, and a record of any vaccinations and screenings. You will also need proof of health insurance, for example, your child’s social security number – which you’ll get when you add them to your state health insurance policy.
There are many different children’s healthcare specialists in Luxembourg. These include pediatric psychologists, cardiologists, nutritionists, physiotherapists, and oncologists. You can find specialists at pediatric clinics and hospitals, such as the Kannerklinik. Most specialist services are free for children and you don’t need a GP referral to access them.
If you need out-of-hours care for your child, you can contact or visit one of the three Maisons Médicales (Medical Homes) in either Luxembourg City, Belval, or Ettelbruck. These are open from 20:00–00:00 on weekdays and 08:00–00:00 on weekends. After midnight, you will need to call the emergency services on 112 or go to your nearest hospital’s emergency department.
Children’s hospitals in Luxembourg
All hospitals in Luxembourg are part of the state-funded health service. General hospitals provide pediatric services, with most also providing emergency care. Luxembourg also has one specialist children’s hospital – the Kannerklinik. This is part of Luxembourg’s central hospital complex, the Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg – CHL.
As mentioned, you do not need a GP referral to take your child to see a specialist for outpatient treatment at a Luxembourg hospital. However, inpatient care such as surgery requires a referral. Most hospital services are free for children. However, there are additional costs for things like a bed in a single private room. Of course, you will need to pay for these extras yourself or have private insurance to cover the gaps.
Children’s dental care in Luxembourg
Dental care for children under 18 years is fully reimbursed by state health insurance. This includes checkups, extractions, prostheses such as fillings and bridges, and orthodontic treatments. More complex treatment will require additional private health insurance.
As with doctors, you can register your child with a dentist of your choice in Luxembourg. So you can choose to consult a family dentist or a pediatric dentist. Be sure to check that they have a contract with the CNS to provide state-funded dental care unless you have private health insurance. You will need to provide your child’s ID and proof of health insurance coverage, for example, their social security number.
Children also receive dental care through schools in Luxembourg. They learn about oral hygiene during preschool and primary school education. Annual checkups run from the first year of preschool to the end of primary school. There are further checkups in the second and fourth years of secondary school.
Mental healthcare for children in Luxembourg
According to a 2021 UNICEF study, 16.5% of young people aged 10–19 in Luxembourg suffer from mental disorders, which is higher than the global average of 13%, but almost on par with the European average of 16.3. You can access mental health support for your child from early years. Children can also approach their GP or support services independent of their parents.
If you have concerns about your child’s mental health, you should contact your GP or school health professional in the first instance. They may refer you to a specialist such as a child psychiatrist, or one of the support services dealing with pediatric mental health and wellbeing. All costs are usually covered by health insurance. However, it is important to note that children’s psychotherapy costs are not reimbursed by the state. In this case you will need to have private insurance or pay these costs yourself.
Children’s mental health is monitored in Luxembourg during the screening stages in their early years, usually from around the age of two. They are given tests to assess cognitive development and behavior. If a child is identified as experiencing developmental or learning difficulties, they may be referred to the Early Rehabilitation Service ((Hëllef fir de Puppelchen). This service provides help to families with children aged 0-4 years.
Where to find mental health support services
Other organizations offering support to families include:
- National Children’s Office (Office National de l’Enfance – ONE) – offers psycho-social support to children and young people aged up to 27 years.
- Socio-Medical League (Ligue Médico-Sociale) – runs health and social support services from 12 socio-medical centers across the country.
- Psycho-social and school support center (Centre Psycho-social et d’Accompagnement Scolaires – CEPAS) – public sector body that provides support to individual families and through schools.
- Elizabeth Group Ambulatory Service (SIPO) – services include support and advice to children, young people, and families experiencing mental health problems, including those with disabilities.
Preventative healthcare programs for children in Luxembourg
Preventative health and wellbeing programs aimed at promoting the healthy development of children and young people usually take place at the local level. These are often guided by frameworks issued by the central government in Luxembourg.
In 2006, the government launched an inter-ministerial initiative called Eat Healthy, Move More (Gesond Iessen, Méi Beweegen – GIMB), updated in 2018. GIMB is aimed at people of all ages, but it includes a healthy eating plan as well as the promotion of sport and movement for children up to 12 years old. Local projects can apply to become GIMB partners and use the GIMB label, a sign of quality recognition in the field of health promotion.
The government also runs a web portal featuring indoor and outdoor activities to help families keep healthy, many of which have been developed in response to COVID-19 restrictions.
Many of the administrative communes in Luxembourg have details of local initiatives and projects to promote healthy living on their websites. For example, the City of Luxembourg has a “promoting children’s health” section with information on activities in areas such as physical activity, healthy eating, and sexual health.
- National Health Fund (Caisse Nationale de Sante – CNS) – information about services covered by state health insurance in Luxembourg.
- Citizens health portal – healthcare information on the government website.
- Sante.lu – details of public health prevention programs, including those in early years and schools (in French).
- Doctena – search for pediatricians in Luxembourg.
- Socio-Medical League (Ligue Médico-Sociale) – organizes free health screenings for children aged 0–4 in Luxembourg.
- National Children’s Office (Office National de l’Enfance – ONE) – provides health and wellbeing support to children, young people, and families in Luxembourg.