The new Health Insurance Act (Zorgverzekeringswet) demands that every person who resides in the Netherlands is obliged to take out health insurance. The new Health Insurance Act obliges health insurance companies to accept you for the statutory basic package at a statutory nominal premium.
Once you move to the Netherlands, finding a GP that suits your needs and you are compatible with, is very important. You can do so by searching on the Yellow pages or in the municipal directory (Gemeente gids) for huisarts (doctor) or huisartspraktijk (clinic) in your neighbourhood.
Generally, you can combine the registration with your first visit to him or her. It is important to take proof of your healthcare coverage and other documents showing your medical history so far.
Appointments are standard; however you might find some GPs who offer walk-in consultation hours. Generally the family doctor lives in your neighborhood, and for non urgent visits you should go to him. In case you cannot leave your house, the doctor will make a house call.
In case you need the assistance of a specialist, you need the recommendation of your family doctor. Your GP will give you the contact of specialist and you need to phone the hospital to make an appointment. Generally specialists are posted in hospitals, and on the day of the appointment you need to first register at the main desk of that particular hospital. You will be given a ponsplaatje (medical ID card) which is your link to the hospitals system. Once you have been issued the ponsplaatje, you are allowed to visit the specialist at the appropriate department.
When you are pregnant, the doctor will give you the contact of a mid-wife. Usually in the Netherlands pregnant women visit a mid-wife during pregnancy. You will be visiting her until it is time to have your baby. In case there are any complications, you will be referred to a gynecologist who will supervise you up until you give birth. Same procedure goes for finding a dentist. Generally a clinic houses a dentist who is in charge of the first general check up and more serious treatments if necessary. Otherwise your dentist will refer you to a mouth hygienists for a check up and the cleansing of your teeth and gum. If you need a doctor after office hours, between 17:00hr and 08:00hr (when family doctor can no longer be reached) you need to call the hospital and to make an appointment and go to the first aid department of the hospital. In case of emergency you can go to the emergency department immediately.
In case of emergency and you need immediate assistance, call the national Emergency number 112. Here you will be inquired whether you need an ambulance, the police or the fire department. They will connect you to the right department. In case you need the police but it’s not an emergency, call 0900-8844.
It’s very important to take a proof of health insurance with you!
The Government has announced various tax measures designed to ensure affordable schemes. You may therefore be entitled to an income-related reimbursement depending on your personal situation. read more…
Related websites to medical care:
Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport
International confederation of Midwives
Online drug index
Information on food
Medlook – Your Medical file on the internet
Health insurance information centre