In our practice we aim to bridge the gap between Dutch Health Care and the needs and expectations of the International Community. The current set up is developed after several talks with a representative of the International Community. It is a work in progress and we realize that it might not be perfect. We therefore encourage you to give as tips and feedback so that we can improve our services.
The way we work is that you can come to us for all your medical questions and complaints. All Dutch citizens are registered with a General Practitioner (GP, or in Dutch huisarts). GP’s like myself are trained specialists in treating the most common complaints such as heart and lung diseases, diabetes or common pediatric diseases and gynecology complaints. Therefore 9 out of 10 complaints are treated by the GP and around 1 in 10 are referred to another healthcare professional or medical specialist. If you have any medical questions or problem, you contact me or one of my colleagues first. We will coordinate the health care that you need and keep your medical record up to date and confidential.
If you have any medical questions or problem, you simply contact our office first. If you call us to make an appointment, our assistant (doktersassistente) whom you have just met, will schedule the appointment. She is a trained professional and will ask questions to determine the urgency of your situation. She may be able to give you immediate advice or suggest that a consultation by telephone could be more convenient. If you have more than one complaint she will reserve more time for you. Home visits are reserved for urgent cases and people incapable of visiting the GP’s office.
We suggest you prepare for each consult by writing down questions and concerns. The GP will ask after your questions and concerns, examine you and offer treatment options. It is possible you will receive a diagnosis but no medication. Dutch physicians find it safe and often best to let an illness run its course without potentially dangerous tests and medication. This wait-and-see approach is medically appropriate for minor illnesses such as a sore throat or a common cold. We also encourage a shared decision model, where patient and doctor as much as possible form a treatment plan together. Most medicines require a prescription from your GP after a personal consultation. If possible, show the medicine that you were on back home to the GP, who can find you an appropriate alternative if your medication is not available in the Netherlands. Prescriptions are filled at a pharmacy (apotheek).
If you experience an acute emergency – severe pain or an accident for example – call us at our emergency number 030-2642630 . Outside office hours, during the evening, night or weekend you can call the Emergency Center/Post at 088-1309670 or at any time the national emergency number 112.
Preventative Care and Health Checks
The Netherlands has good nationwide preventive health programs. Preventative health programs are available at different stages in an individual’s development and mostly are free of charge. There are screening program during pregnancy, neonatal screenings options available for people at risk for certain disease such as cardiovascular, pulmonary or sexually transmitted diseases. Ask your GP about nation-wide preventative health programs and services. GPs can perform a general check-up, though it is generally not recommended. This because scientific evidence suggests that general health checks are unlikely to be beneficial and may cause harm.
Moving to a foreign country is demanding for all members of your family. The stress of moving and adjusting to life in a strange environment can lead to anxiety and loneliness. If you want to talk about any of these things just contact us and we’ll Discuss what can be done to alleviate your worries.
Health Care insurance
The Dutch healthcare system is built on the principle of solidarity. Healthcare is funded by all citizens through taxation of income and mandatory health insurance fees. If you have a international health insurance, please check if it is accepted in de Netherlands by calling the College for Health Insurances at +31 20 7978555. If you work and pay income tax in the Netherlands, you may be obliged to take out health insurance, even if you are already insured back home.
More information about health care in the Netherlands: