Healthcare in Luxembourg

General environment

Healthcare in LuxembourgThe Luxembourg healthcare system is one of the most comprehensive systems in the world offering virtually unrestricted access to the Luxembourg population. It also ranks in the top five countries for per-capita healthcare expenditure. The total spending on healthcare is almost 8% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Notable facts of the Luxembourg healthcare system are:

  • Universal coverage of the population by health insurance and mandatory dependent insurance
  • Liberal exercise of medicine with the doctor as an initiator of all benefits prejudicial to health insurance
  • Formal authorisation is required from the Ministère de la Santé to practice a health profession
  • Free choice of providers by the patient and direct access to specialists
  • Global supervision and planning of hospital and pharmaceutical sectors
  • Equal treatment of providers (legal entities or physical persons), regardless of their status

Local healthcare industry challenges

The Luxembourg healthcare system is in fact well set up; nevertheless behavioural changes, demands of the population and legislation are driving profound re-thinking and reorganisation of the local system.

Challenges include:

  • Shifting demographics, resulting in ageing populations
  • Consumerism and rising cost of healthcare
  • Increase in public health spending and changes in finance and reimbursement policies
  • Convergence of different healthcare sectors
  • Difficulty attracting and retaining skilled workforces
  • Innovation and prevention of a need for treatment (e.g. personalised medicine)
  • Implementation of the healthcare reform and governmental laws
  • Requirement to react to changes in European regulations

Global healthcare industry challenges

Many healthcare systems around the world are facing similar challenges to Luxembourg. Even though the healthcare system seems well prepared, there are important global challenges that will certainly impact Luxembourg in the future.

These challenges include:

  • Increasing influence of emerging countries
  • Spiralling costs and overwhelmed healthcare systems
  • Cost containment and alternative delivery models
  • Disruptive innovation
  • Natural disasters and pandemics
  • Antibiotic resistance