Although every family should have their own family doctor, there may be situations when you can’t reach them, e.g. evenings, nights, weekends, or public holidays. If you need urgent but non-emergency medical care, you can visit an ‘urgent care’ post in Brussels, or use the 1733 on-call service, which is available in Brussels and across most of Belgium.
On this page, read about:
- the 1733 on-call service that is being rolled out across Belgium
- ‘urgent care’ posts in Brussels where you can go without an appointment on weekday evenings, and during most of the day on weekends and public holidays
- on-duty pharmacies
The 1733 on-call duty service
Belgium is in the process of rolling out a nationwide on-call service for non-urgent medical assistance on weekends and public holidays. The service is provided in English, as well as French, Dutch and German. You can see here if your region already uses the 1733 number.
You can call:
- 1733 from any Belgian landline or mobile phone. Calls are charged at a local rate; or
- +32 2 524 98 89 from a mobile phone with a non-Belgian contract.
In many parts of the country, you can also call 1733 if you need an on-call doctor on a weeknight. And in the future, this will be possible everywhere in Belgium. If 1733 is not available for weeknights in your region, the answerphone will tell you so.
What happens when I call 1733?
The 1733 number is being rolled out gradually in Belgium. The level of service depends on whether your region is in phase 1 or phase 2 (you can check that here.)
- If your region is in phase 1, you’ll be transferred you to an employee at the out-of-hours service or to the local on-call doctor. They will then arrange an appointment at your local urgent care post, or if necessary, arrange a home visit.
- If your region is in phase 2, you’ll be transferred you to an operator specialised in medical triage. They will ask you questions about your condition and determine the next steps, e.g. recommend that you wait and contact your own doctor as soon as possible, send an on-call doctor to you, send an ambulance if the situation is serious.
Urgent care posts in Brussels
You can come to one of the following ‘urgent care’ posts (‘postes médicaux de garde (PMG)’ / ‘huisartsenwachtposten’) without having to make an appointment. These are generally open from 19:00 to 00:00 Monday to Friday, and from 8:00 to 00:00 weekends and public holidays:
Rue de Brouchoven 2
(Behind Passage 44)
Chaussée de Haecht, 579
Boulevard du Jubilé, 93
Rue de Linthout, 150
Avenue Molière, 34
Avenue Albert De Coster, 3
Using this service guarantees that:
- your own doctor will receive a report of the visit
- the fee you pay will be in line with the standard fees, i.e. will be ‘conventionné’
What if I can’t go to an urgent care post?
If you’re not able to go to one of the medical posts, or you need assistance outside their working hours, call 1733. The operator will ask you questions about your symptoms, and will ask for you national registration number (have your ID card handy) and the name of your family doctor.
If needed, they’ll send an on-duty doctor to your house/apartment (in the Brussels Capital region) as soon as possible. Home visits can be carried out between 19:00 to 8:00 during the week and around the clock on weekends and public holidays.
So, you’ve managed to see the doctor, and now you need to find a pharmacy!
In Brussels, around 20 pharmacies are ‘on duty’ every week, and will be open later than usual.
However, only a few of these will be open throughout the night. Most pharmacies display a list of ‘late opening’ pharmacies on their door/window – these will usually be open until 23:00.
For a list of pharmacies open between 23:00 and 09:00 call +32 (0)900 10 500 or go to the site www.pharmacie.be / www.apotheek.be which covers all of Belgium – go to ‘Trouver une pharmacie’ / ‘Vind een apotheek’, select ‘De garde’ / ‘Van wacht’, and enter your postal code to find on-duty pharmacies near you.