What you should know about Dutch healthcare

How do you make an appointment with a doctor? What should you do in an emergency? Can you trust your general practitioner, or huisarts? Many newcomers have questions about the healthcare system in the Netherlands. New to the Netherlands gives you information and tips!

Syriërs Gezond

Sick, weak, feeling ill? On the Facebook page 'Syriërs Gezond' (Healthy Syrians), Dutch and Syrian doctors answer questions about the Dutch healthcare system and your health. Healthy Syrians is an initiative from the GGD Utrecht and Pharos.

Help, I am sick!

In the Netherlands when you are sick you must first go and see your general practioner, or huisarts, in your neighborhood.  The huisarts then decides whether to send you to see a specialist. To make an appointment you must phone your huisarts'office. When you think that your complaints are urgent, it is wise to phone as early as possible, since you can then often get an appointment the same day.

Do you not yet have a doctor? Google the word 'huisarts' and add your city or 'woonplaats'. You can then choose the doctor's office that suits you best. Have you made a choice? Phone the office and ask you you can register with this doctor.  They will then explain to you how that works. Is it unclear? During the phone conversations with the doctor's office you can always ask questions.

 

 

 

What should you do in an emergency?

Have you had an accident or someone needs help? Then call the number 112 as quickly as possible. This number is free. State your name, tell them where you are and what is going on. The emergency center will then decide whether to send an ambulance. Would you like to know how the emergency center works? Watch this video:

Can you trust your general practioner, or huisarts?

In the Netherlands every doctor must abide by the doctor-patient confidentiality. That means that a doctor may never repeat something that you have said. Not even to your partner or children. Only if you give permission for this. If you phone your doctor to make an appointment, the doctor's assistent might answer the phone and ask about your complaints. They too have to abide by the confidentiality rule. Are you a woman and would you like to be treated by a female doctor then you can just ask about this.No need to worry about this!

How is healthcare in the Netherlands arranged?

If you are sick or have an accident then you go and see a doctor or to the hospital. All of the treatments are expensive and must be paid for. That is why health insurance is manidtory for everyone in the Netherlands.  That means that we all must pay a certain amount every month to a healthcare insurer. Even if you have not been sick. We do this because we think it is important that everyone in the Netherlands can always make use of the healthcare and that it reamins affordable. Watch the clip about insurance:

The amount that the Netherlands spends on healthcare increases every year. Will we still be able to pay for healthcare in the future?

What is coinsurance (eigen risico) and why do I have to pay it?

You might think that if you pay your healthcare insurance every month that your insurer then will pay for all of your healthcare costs. That is not completely true. You are responsible for the first costs up to € 385 (in 2016 en 2017). Only after this will your healthcare insurer pay the next costs. Not nice, but in this way the insurance premium will stay lower per month. Would you like to know more about coinsurance and healthcare in the Netherlands?

Choose your own healthcare insurance.

In the Netherlands you have various healthcare insurance companies. You can decide which company suits your needs the best. No later than 19 November you will receive your new policy for the coming year. If you do nothing, then you automatically accept the new conditions and premium. You may also change to another health insurer, but that must be done before 1 January.

Are you eating healthy enough?

Some french fries, or a patatje, is of course very tasty, but not very healthy. To know what you need to eat to stay healthy, we have a Scale of Five. In this scale it lists what we should eat to stay healthy.  For more tips about healthy eating, watch the next two clips!

Do you drink enough water?

If you come from a tropical country or from a desert, then you might not get too thirsty in the Netherlands. But your body still needs water. You must make sure that you drink enough every day. But why is that? You can find the answer in this short video clip.