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Luxembourg Healthcare

Luxembourg's healthcare system is based on three fundamental principles: compulsory health insurance, patients' free choice of service provider and compulsory provider compliance with a fixed set of fees for services. The standard contribution level is set by the Union of Sickness Funds that, together with nine profession-based funds, manages and provides statutory health insurance for 99% of the population. Any unemployed person who is receiving neither unemployment nor a public pension is excluded.

Luxembourg has an advanced national health service, supervised by the Ministry of Public Health. Public health facilities are available to physicians and treatment of patients is on a private basis. Hospitals are operated either by the state or by the Roman Catholic Church.

In the mid-1990s, there were 780 physicians (295 general practitioners and 485 specialists, which equates to two physicians per 1,000 inhabitants), 307 pharmacists, 198 dentists, and 124 midwives. In the same period, there were 32 hospitals with 4,438 beds (11.4 per 1,000 people). As of 1998, there were 2.7 physicians, 7.8 nurses, 0.2 midwives, 0.7 dentists, and 0.7 pharmacists per 1,000 people. Public health officials have waged efficient national campaigns against contagious diseases and infant mortality has been reduced from 56.8 per 1,000 live births in 1948 to an estimated 4.7 as of 2002.

Between 1991 and 1994, 80% of the country's children were immunised against measles. As of 2002, the crude birth rate and overall mortality rate were estimated at, respectively, 12 and 8.8 per 1,000 people. The fertility rate was one of the lowest in the world. The average woman living through her childbearing years had 1.5 children. Average life expectancy was estimated at 77.5 years. There were 4,021 deaths in 1992, with leading causes as follows: circulatory/heart diseases (1,686), cancer (996), road accidents (76), and suicides (59). There were 107 cases of AIDS in 1996, for an incidence of approximately 3.5 of 100,000 people.

The smoking rate was nearly equal for men (32% of men over 15) and women (26%) in the mid-1990s. The age-adjusted breast cancer mortality rate per 100,000 people was 25.6 during the years 1986-88. This rate was in the top ten mortality rates for breast cancer.




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