To many newcomers to the Netherlands, navigating the Dutch healthcare system can be daunting. This information is correct to the best of our knowledge, but things change and we are only human. You should also do your own research.
How to find appropriate care
When you or your family are ill it is important to go to the most appropriate care provider. In most cases your starting point will be your general practitioner (GP). What to do in case of illness or health concerns:
Seek reliable information If you are in doubt whether or not to contact your GP, or for more information on particular diseases or medication, please check the websites Thuisarts and Apotheek. Although the internet is full of reputable (and less reputable) health information, these sites are kept updated and align with the advice given by GPs and pharmacies.
Contact your GP practice The GP assistant (doktersassistent) will answer the phone; expect questions about the reason for calling. You will most likely either get advice on self-care or an appointment. Some GP practices also have daily walk-in hours for minor ailments.
Call the Huisartsenpost after-hours hotline If after business hours (after 17.00 and weekends) and your question is urgent, don’t hesitate to call Huisartsenpost :
This telephone line is manned by triage nurses that can either advise on self-care or make an appointment at your nearest clinic. Some hospitals now offer a huisartsenpost in addition to an emergency room, to avoid unnecessary use of ER services.
Go to an Emergency room (SEH) Is the situation too urgent or serious to go to the GP or Huisartsenpost?
Hospital Spaarne Gasthuis
North (Noord) Vondelweg 999
and South (Zuid) Boerhaavelaan 22
Calling ahead is not required if you have been in an accident or in need of urgent care. In all other cases please first call your GP or Huisartsenpost for advice, they will refer you directly to the ER if needed.
Call 112 If every minute counts call 112 for emergency services.
At the GP Practice
Although you are not obliged by law to be registered at a GP practice, I highly recommend it if you are settling in this city. Visits to your GP are covered by all basic insurance and will NOT count for your eigen risico. You are free to choose your own GP, within a range of 15 minutes traveling time to your home address, in case of emergencies. A good place to start looking for a GP is Zorgkaart Nederland.
It may well be worth checking out the website of your GP practice to see what possibilities are available for making appointments online, asking questions via e-consult, or ordering repeat prescriptions online. Your GP will keep a (digital) file on you, with records of symptoms reported, diagnosis and advice given, prescriptions, referrals made, and summaries of treatment or diagnosis received from specialist care. You will be asked for permission to digitally share summaries of your medical file with other care providers. Care providers are only allowed to access your medical information if needed for your care.
This has been adapted from the Amsterdam Mama’s article “A Quick Guide to Healthcare in Amsterdam”