Care and support for elderly people  


Inter Mutualistic Agency (IMA), processed by Statistics Flanders  



Population living in residential care centres: the number of residents aged 65 years and over who lived in a residential care centre on 31 March, i.e. a flat-rate NHE/RCH was reimbursed by the various health insurance companies.

The vast majority of residential care centres are also recognised as RCH ('Rest and Care Home'). This means that there are also places available for the care of the elderly with a severe care-dependency profile. These places are referred to as RCH beds. For these places the residential care centre receives a higher intervention of the RIZIV (National Institute for Sickness and Disability Insurance). The other places in residential care centres are referred to by the RIZIV as 'beds Nursing Homes for the Elderly (NHE beds).


Numerator: the number of beneficiaries aged 65 years or over who were staying in a residential care centre on 31 March, i.e. a flat-rate NHE/RCH was reimbursed. Excluding persons in short stay or in day care centres or entitled to home nursing.

Denominator: Number of entitled persons aged 65 years or over in the IMA (Inter Mutualistic Agency) database. Population on 30/06 and not deceased in January-March (subsequent).

Care-dependency profile: A care-dependency profile in elderly care refers to the degree of care needed by a person who lives and is cared for in a residential care centre.


Remarks on quality  


There are 7 active health insurance companies in Belgium: 

  • National Union of Christian National Health Services 
  • National Union of the Neutral Healthcare Funds 
  • National Association of Socialist National Health Services 
  • National Union of Liberal National Health Services 
  • National Union of the Independent Healthcare Funds 
  • National Institute for Sickness and Invalidity Insurance (RIZIV) 
  • Medical care fund HR Rail KGV 

The health insurance companies collect a lot of data within the context of their work. These are administrative data, such as gender and age of their members and billing data. If a person is admitted to hospital or has been to a doctor, the health insurance registers these data. The health insurance fund reimburses a large part of the costs to the patient. These costs are only repaid if they are regulated within the mandatory health insurance scheme. All the codes for medical treatments are collected and explained in ‘the nomenclature’. This nomenclature can be found on the website of the National Institute for Sickness and Invalidity Insurance (RIZIV). 

The same principle applies to medication supplied in pharmacies (public pharmacies) and hospitals, which are fully or partly reimbursed by the health insurance.

In the IMA-Atlas, indicators can be consulted on socio-demographic characteristics and the use of healthcare. These indicators are policy-relevant and are drawn up based on the permanent databases of the Inter Mutualistic Agency. A visitor access up to various geographical levels can be obtained. If statistically relevant, the indicators are calculated up to the level of the neighbourhood and the statistical sector. For reasons of privacy, some indicators are not displayed at this level of detail. Specific indicators are available per hospital.

There is a difference between the population based on Statbel (Belgian Statistical Office) and the population based on IMA data. The most important differences between the population of beneficiaries in the IMA data, which are used in the IMA ATLAS, and the population according to the National Register on 1 January are:

  • All births are included in the IMA population of the calendar year. Figures are valid for the period of 1 calendar year and not on a specific date.
  • In municipalities with many frontier workers, the IMA population underestimates or overestimates the actual residential population.
  • In municipalities or neighbourhoods with many foreigners, the IMA has more persons than the official National Register.
  • In municipalities or neighbourhoods with many European officials, the IMA has fewer people than the official National Register.



Inter Mutualistic Agency (IMA): IMA-atlas