Brussels: Doctors to prescribe free visits to museums located in city

Brussels, Belgium: From now onwards, the doctors can prescribe free visits to museums located in the City of Brussels as a part of a pilot project aimed at giving vulnerable people access to culture as well as offering therapeutic support.

According to the World Health Organisation study, going to museums can improve people’s health by reducing stress as well as making life feel more meaningful, among other things. The doctors at the Brugmann Hospital in Brussels are tapping into this potential by offering patients free museum visits as part of their treatment plan.

On Monday, the Brussels Councillor for Culture, Delphine Houba, announced, “Starting today, doctors at CHU Brugmann will be able to prescribe their patients a free visit to a museum in the City of Brussels. This is a big European debut that I am looking forward to launching in Brussels.”

The pilot project will take place for six months (between 6 September 2022 to 5 March 2023), as well as will allow doctors to prescribe up to five visits per patient, which means they can visit all museums in the commune: the City Museum on Grand Place, as well as the Fashion and Lace Museum on Rue de la Violette, and the Sewer Museum, the wardrobe of Mannekin-Pis as well as the Centre for Contemporary Art.

The cost of the entrance ticket is going to be covered by the City of Brussels.

The agreement on the pilot project stated that it has two objectives. Besides this, it is hoped it will provide therapeutic support in addition to the patient’s treatment.

Information on the museum the patient will visit and how many people will be with them is included on the form for the Museum Prescription (up to three visitors can join). The doctor must sign this document.

The Canadian province of Quebec, which implemented such a system in 2018 as a result of an agreement between the professional order of physicians as well as the Fine Arts Museum in Montreal, served as inspiration for the concept.

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