SGPs - Network of General Practitioners

Last updated on 7-3-2024 by Sarah Moreels
Project duration:
January 1, 1979
Project with no end date

In short

The network comprises about 100 general practices all over Belgium who weekly report data about different health problems (infectious and non-infectious diseases). Therefore the impact and the characteristics of different health problems in Belgium can be monitored. By providing epidemiological information as well as information on care provided in general practice, the sentinel general practitioners (GPs) support the policymakers in defining priorities and evaluating health policy.

Project description

Almost all people in Belgium have a general practitioner and therefore they are a good source of information about the health of the population. The network of sentinel GPs exist since 1979. In 2024 around 100 practices participate over all Belgium. The coverage of the network is estimated at 1.0% of the Belgian population.

Data is reported on different health problems (infectious and non-infectious diseases). Therefore the impact of different health problems and their characteristics can be studied. Some of them  are monitored continuously over time (e.g. acute respiratory infections and influenza-like illness). Other are monitored recurrently to gather data at regular intervals that can be compared and support the authorities in charge of  health policies. Varicella and tick bites or suspicion of Lyme disease are themes that have been studied in the past and are monitored again.

Health problems monitored in 2024 by the network:

  • acute respiratory infections and influenza-like illness
  • acute diarrhea 
  • sexual transmitted infections
  • chickenpox, shingles or postherpetic neuralgia
  • tick bites and/or suspected Lyme disease
  • advanced care planning (ACP).


The registration is done on the website of the network of sentinel general practitioners.

Acute respiratory infections and influenza-like illness are covered by the network continuously since 2007. For each episode age group, vaccination status and hospitalization are recorded. There is also a close collaboration with the national reference center for Influenza in Belgium that collect a clinical sample in a subset of patients. More information is available on this webpage.
For the other health problems specific questionnaires are recorded by the sentinel GPs in order to better describe the characteristics and risk factors. These questionnaires are anonymous (name, surname, age, postal code and date of consultation are not recorded) et can be consulted or filled in directly on the website of the network of sentinel general practitioners.

This network is only possible through close cooperation with our partners.

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