Luxembourg – officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg – is renowned for its cosmopolitan ambiance and excellent quality of life, boasting a strong emphasis on high-quality healthcare services and advanced medical technology. Find out all about this thriving health market in our latest blog.


Luxembourg is a small, landlocked country bordered by France, Belgium and Germany. The people, culture and languages of Luxembourg are closely interconnected with those of its neighbors, which is also reflected in its healthcare system and legislation.

As one of the founding members of the European Union (EU), Luxembourg has experienced remarkable population and economic expansion over the years. It has transitioned from being primarily focused on steel production and agriculture to an economy predominantly oriented toward financial services and banking. Today, Luxembourg stands among the wealthiest nations worldwide. In 2023, the population’s median income was 26,321 international dollars (purchasing power parity), compared to 14,793 international dollars in the United Kingdom.

A thriving microcosm of European diversity, Luxembourg is home to approximately 660,000 residents from over 170 countries, communicating in around 80 different languages. Foreigners and cross-country commuters account for nearly half (!) of its population. Over the past years, Luxembourg has attracted a significant number of multinational corporations that have chosen it as their headquarters, joining various EU institutions, agencies and organizations.

In 2023, life expectancy at birth in Luxembourg is around 83 years, only one year higher than in the UK, with nearly 82 years. The country faces challenges related to behavioral risk factors, which account for over a third of all fatalities, with excessive alcohol consumption, increasing obesity rates and smoking posing significant concerns. Like in the UK, the most common medical conditions reported in Luxembourg include circulatory diseases, which account for almost 30% of all deaths in Luxembourg, followed by cancer (26%). Data collected from the European Health Examination Survey also reveals a significant prevalence of depression in Luxembourg, with migration identified as a contributing risk factor.

Health market

Luxembourg has a universal healthcare system that provides comprehensive medical coverage to its residents. The system is funded through a combination of social security contributions, taxes and out-of-pocket payments. The government plays a significant role in regulating and overseeing the healthcare sector.

With the National Health Insurance Fund, known as the Caisse Nationale de Santé (CNS), a compulsory social health insurance system is in place that is responsible for the financing and procurement of health services. The CNS encompasses three insurance schemes: healthcare, sick leave and long-term care insurance.

Luxembourg’s robust economic growth has had a beneficial effect on the healthcare system’s public funding. Per capita health spending is relatively high, and the share of public funding is above the EU average. Many cross-border commuters contribute to the subsidization of national health services, yet predominantly seek healthcare services in their countries of residence, where costs tend to be lower compared to Luxembourg – thus adding to Luxembourg’s healthcare funding budget. As a result of the comprehensive coverage provided by the social health insurance scheme in Luxembourg, the amount of out-of-pocket expenses is relatively low, standing at 9.5% compared to 13.6% in the UK.


Luxembourg has been actively promoting digital health initiatives and fostering innovation in the healthcare sector, with the government investing in e-health solutions, telemedicine and the development of health technology start-ups. For example, in mid-March 2020, a teleconsultation platform was set up to maintain access to health services during the COVID-19 pandemic. This platform has been in use ever since, allowing patients to consult their treating physicians, dentists or midwives via telephone or teleconsultation and to get medical prescriptions or a certificate of incapacity for work.

In general, digital platforms and health apps have become increasingly popular in Luxembourg, with revenue in the digital health market projected to reach $ 95 million (approx. £ 74.1 million) in 2023. The annual growth rate is estimated to climb to 9.86%, resulting in a projected market volume of $ 138.4 million (approx. £ 108 million) by 2027.

Like the UK, Luxembourg is facing a shortage of skilled healthcare professionals and doctors, primarily for outpatient care services. Several initiatives have been implemented to reduce reliance on foreign medical professionals and enhance the appeal of the medical profession. For instance, specialized training programs in oncology and neurology have been expanded for doctors who have completed their studies, and new bachelor’s programs in general medicine, specialized nursing sciences and midwifery are being developed.

Legal and regulatory conditions

Under the supervision of the Health Ministry, the Pharmacy and Medication Division (Division de la Pharmacie et des Médicaments, DPM), a department of the National Health Directorate (Direction de la Santé), has authority for all matters pertaining to pharmaceutical products in general, in particular their manufacture, surveillance, marketing, advertising, distribution as well as import and export. The division performs on-site inspections to make sure that facilities where medicinal products are manufactured, handled, stored or offered for sale comply with good practice requirements.

The Health Ministry has exclusive authority for granting authorizations for marketing, manufacture as well as import and distribution. Retail prices for medicinal products are set by the Ministry of Social Security. The reimbursement of pharmaceutical products is contingent upon whether the product is listed on the “Positive List of Medicinal Products” published in the Official Journal. These products are classified into three distinct categories, each corresponding to a specific coverage rate (40%, 80% or 100%).

On the other hand, the marketing of medical devices, encompassing products and equipment used for a medical purpose, such as X-ray machines, blood pressure meters and even digital health apps, is not subject to any prior authorization procedure. However, medical devices may only be sold and/or used in Luxembourg if they are appropriately supplied, installed and maintained and used according to their intended purpose. Such devices must also bear a CE mark to indicate that they have been subjected to a conformity assessment. As with medicines, the National Health Directorate is responsible for determining whether a medical device is reimbursable or not. If a manufacturer that is based in Luxembourg places medical devices on the market under their own brand, they are also required to inform the Health Directorate regarding their registered office and provide details about the specific devices involved.

EU-wide and international health market

Within the EU, individual member states are responsible for developing and implementing their own national healthcare policies. The EU provides a framework of directives and regulations that serve as higher-level guidance and must be incorporated into national legislation. One notable example is the Medical Devices Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2017/745), also known as the MDR, which outlines the requirements for medical devices distributed within the European single market.

In terms of medicines, authorization can be granted at the level of individual member states based on national regulations, such by the Luxembourg Pharmacy and Medication Division (DPM). Alternatively, pharmaceutical companies have the option to follow the “centralized authorization procedure” offered by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). This pathway enables marketers to obtain authorization across all member states of the European Economic Area (EU, Iceland, and Norway) by submitting a single application.


Internationalization plays a crucial role in optimizing the marketing of products and services in various markets, providing hospitals and medical practices in Luxembourg with a competitive advantage as attractive service providers for patients from abroad. Given the relatively low number of doctors (3 per 1,000 inhabitants) and a rapidly aging medical workforce, Luxembourg is heavily dependent on foreign-trained doctors. Effective exchange of information, including translation of scientific publications and training materials, enables healthcare providers in Luxembourg to leverage best practices from different global regions, enhancing the overall quality of care.

Translations are vital throughout the lifecycle of medical devices, pharmaceutical products, dietary supplements, and fitness/lifestyle items. Skilled translators with extensive experience, specialized knowledge and linguistic proficiency are essential to adapting the content and intended meaning of the text for specific target audiences, whether experts, laypersons, authorities, or others. Furthermore, these expert translators ensure that the translation meets the specific requirements of the text type and communication channel.

In the case of regulatory documents, specialized translators play a critical role in accurately translating the content while adhering to specific conventions for such texts. Given the significant investment of time and money in product development, any delays in time-to-market can be costly. Having skilled language experts to avoid these obstacles ensures a successful market launch.

When addressing consumers and patients directly, translations need to present complex scientific concepts in an easily understandable manner. Here, content aims to inform and persuade potential buyers without being overly promotional. This is particularly important for platforms like patient portals, educational websites, and informational flyers. To cater to the needs of the target market effectively, employing specialist translators with a marketing background can be beneficial. These translators can provide a more creative translation tailored to the specific market based on a comprehensive briefing, a service known as “transcreation.”

Important languages for the Luxembourg market include the official languages for administrative and judicial matters comprising French, German and Luxembourgish, with each of these three languages preferred depending on the context.

French is used for writing legislative documents and is also preferred in trade, hotels, restaurants and cafés, and it is also dominant because of the many cross-border commuters from France and Belgium. German has traditionally been the favored language for the written press, although French has gained ground in traditional daily newspapers and certain weekly publications. Luxembourgish (Lëtzebuergesch), on the other hand, is the most commonly spoken language on the country’s radio stations and TV channels. It is also the principal language in political discourse and public speaking. Otherwise, the most common languages spoken are Portuguese and Italian, given the large migrant community.


Luxembourg generally enjoys good health outcomes, with high life expectancy and low mortality rates. The country has a well-developed primary care system that promotes preventive healthcare and regular check-ups. Some lifestyle concerns and mental health issues remain that are being addressed by public awareness campaigns (e.g. smoking cessation programs) and a growing trend toward wellness, holistic health and dietary habits. Digital health apps and telemedicine solutions have become increasingly popular. With annual growth rates in the digital health market of nearly 10%, this area of healthcare is bound to offer attractive opportunities for app developers and providers of digital health solutions in the coming years.

Adapting content for the Luxembourg market is evidently complex and heavily dependent on context. That is why nuanced translations reflecting individual cultural characteristics and requirements are crucial to engaging with the diverse target audiences effectively.



autor_eurotext_100Author: Eurotext Editorial Team

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