Healthcare Belgium


University Hospital Brussels- UZ Brussel

Diabetes Clinic

First integrated Diabetes Clinic in Belgium

Information about the Centre

One single structure to cover multidisciplinary consultation, expertise and research.
Diabetes has become endemic throughout the world, also in cosmopolitan Brussels. This is why University Hospital Brussels has launched Belgium’s first Diabetes Clinic. Traditional diabetes care in hospitals tends to be both complex and fragmented. However diabetes patients (in Brussels) now more than ever require a tailored care trajectory which caters for cultural diversity. Bringing together all relevant disciplines within a single organisation and structure enables multidisciplinary face to face consultation, enhanced expertise and optimised research.

One out of every 12 Belgians suffers from diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is taking on epidemic proportions worldwide, as is certainly the case for Belgium’s most cosmopolitan city, Brussels. Type 1 diabetes has clearly also become more prevalent in recent years, particularly among young people. Fortunately diabetes and its consequences are a treatable condition. Diabetes patients who rely on traditional hospital care are commonly referred to diverse specialist physicians at different locations. Centralised electronic patient files cannot replace face to face multidisciplinary consultation between caregivers. There is also a risk of too much attention being focused on a single problem related to, or caused by diabetes.

Today’s diabetes patients more than ever require tailor-made treatments which ideally will integrate primary, secondary and tertiary care. Certain cases require very specific treatment within a hospital. This is demonstrated by the drop in the number of lower limb amputations following the creation of tertiary care foot clinics in Belgium. University Hospital Brussels’ Diabetes Clinic is aiming to further optimise the provision of specialist multidisciplinary care.

The Diabetes Clinic’s 4 key priorities are:

  • multidisciplinary consultation
  • multidisciplinary expertise
  • multidisciplinary research 
  • multicultural approach

Virtually all disciplines with a diabetes dimension have been grouped within a single structure (e.g. similar to an oncology centre). The specialists involved are emphatically dedicated to and interested in diabetes. The process of regular, direct multidisciplinary consultations will lead to individualised care for diabetes patients, with specialists learning from one another, and will also enable clear treatment paths to be set and avoid overlapping examinations. This approach will further enable the provision of an economically viable multicultural care system, which is absolutely essential within the Brussels milieu. Lastly the concept of a University Diabetes Clinic facilitates the optimisation of multidisciplinary research.

This new approach moreover guarantees a workable link with the hi-tech translational research which has been conducted on the Jette Campus for more than 20 years within the so-called Center for Beta Cell Therapy in Diabetes. The main priorities for the next few years are beta cell transplants, beta cell regeneration and stem cell transplants.

The Diabetes Clinic is ready to perform testing in these areas.

The new structure was officially launched on Thursday 19 May 2011. The consultation, education and research spaces within this facility have been adapted to the needs of diabetes patients. In addition its infrastructure has been fully tailored to patients’ needs, in particular patients with reduced mobility.

Specific Interventions

  • 5,000 Type I patients and 8,000 relatives

  •  2,200 insulin-dependent patients in treatment

  • 100 new cases of gestational diabetes per year

  • Beta-cell transplant : 80 patients (140 grafts)

Read more: www.betacelltherapy.org; www.bdronline.be

"Coordinating Centre in Belgium for Beta-cell transplant and Registry; large experience in insulin treatment systems, diabetes foot, pregnancy diabetes."

The Medical team

The Diabetes Centre has built up extensive scientific and clinical expertise. The Head of the Medical Department, Professor Dr Bart Keymeulen and the Head of the Diabetes Research Centre, Professor Daniël Pipeleers, are key opinion leaders in Belgium and abroad. Professor Pipeleers is Director of the JDRF Centre for Beta Cell Therapy in Diabetes which is supported by the European Union and he and his team are developing and implementing strategies to preserve and restore insulin producing beta cells.

Bart Keymeulen, MD, PhD: Head of the Medical Department

Daniël Pipeleers, MD, PhD: Head of the Diabetes Research Centre

Contact Details

Diabetes Clinic UZ Brussel
Laarbeeklaan 101
1090 Brussels