Document 166315

How to find a doctor or dentist
Dutch health care system
General practitioner (GP, huisarts)
Dentist (tandarts)
Dutch health care system
Medical prescriptions will be written out by your
The Dutch health care system is often referred to as the
GP. Take your prescription to the nearest pharmacy
‘gate-keeper system’; the general practitioner (GP,
(apotheek) to collect your medicine.
huisarts) or family doctor being the main link to any
specialist or hospital. In order to see a medical specialist
When to contact a doctor
at the hospital, you will need to make an appointment
The GP should be the first person you call for all
with your GP to receive a referral.
medical problems, with the exception of emergencies.
If you are suffering from flu, a twisted ankle, abdominal
Without exception, health insurance is compulsory in
pain, psychological problems, chronic illness or
the Netherlands. The insurance reimburses part of your
gynaecological problems, contact your GP first.
medical cost, depending on the type of insurance you
GP appointments can be made by phone. Most doctors
have chosen. Visit the 'insurances' section on our
have set visiting hours and often give advice over the
website to learn more about
phone. If your problem is of a serious nature, the doctor
health care insurance.
may make a house call, though this is not standard
General practitioner (GP, huisarts)
When you first arrive in the Netherlands, make sure to
Once a diagnosis is made, your GP will decide on the
register with a GP nearby. In case of an emergency, a
method of treatment. The doctor may decide to treat
doctor should be able to be present within fifteen
the problem by him/herself (perhaps with prescription
medicine available from a pharmacy) or refer you to a
specialist at a hospital. You will always need a referral in
In the Netherlands, it is necessary to make an
order to see a specialist, except for appointments with a
appointment for visiting a doctor. It is customary to
physiotherapist or midwife.
have an admission interview with a GP before
registering with his/her practice. Provide your new GP
with your medical records, so he or she can get up to
unit (huisartsenpost) in Leiden can be reached by
date concerning your personal situation.
dialling the following phone number: 0900 513 80 39. It
GP emergency
is located at the LUMC (Leiden University Medical
In case of an emergency, it will be possible to meet with
Center), Albinusdreef 2, Leiden. This unit is set up for
your doctor on that same day. A doctor can determine
emergencies only and it is more expensive than a GP
whether or not a referral to a specialist is necessary.
during weekly consulting hours. Your health insurance
How to find a doctor or dentist
will not cover the cost of a non-emergency visit to the
the appointment in cash. If your insurance covers
GP emergency unit.
dental cost, ask the dentist for a receipt which
will enable you to claim a refund from your insurance
The national emergency phone number (for medical
assistance, police or fire brigade) is 112. You may call
Finding a dentist
this number in case of emergencies only. Health
Ask around. Friends, colleagues, neighbours or the
insurance will not cover the cost of a non-emergency
family GP may suggest a certain dentist. You can also
visit to the first aid department of a hospital.
consult the Yellow Pages (Gouden Gids) for dentists,
orthodontists and dental hygienists. Simply phone a
Health Insurance coverage and the doctor
dentist and ask to register with his or her practice. The
Health insurance covers the cost of a medical
municipality can also provide you with information and
consultation. If you have a contracted care policy
perhaps the names of dentists who speak your
(naturapolis), the doctor will send invoices directly to
the insurer. If you have a non-contracted care policy
(restitutiepolis), the doctor will send the invoice to the
patient and the patient can declare the cost with the
For emergency dental treatment outside surgery hours,
insurer. Please note that, in the case of contracted care
telephone the practice. An answering machine will
policies, it is advisable to check with your insurance
inform you who to contact in case of an emergency. In
agency if your GP is on their list of associated doctors (if
general, the information will be in Dutch.
so, payment and administration will be quicker and
Coverage of dental cost
The cost for dental care is usually not included in a
Dentist (tandarts)
basic health insurance policy (basispakket). Additional
When dental care is needed, you can call any dentist to
insurance can cover up to 75 per cent of the costs. For
make an appointment. Take into account that it could
the exact coverage, check your policy terms or contact
take a number of days before a dentist is available for
your insurer. an appointment. You may be asked to pay for