Dutch Health Care System

Here you will find info about the Dutch health care system. It is different than what you are used to. The Netherlands needs to keep the health costs affordable for the whole population.

General Practitioners in the Dutch Health Care System (GP, huisarts)

  • Family doctors, or general practitioners (huisartsen we call them)
  • They are the first and most of the time only entrance to the health care system.
    Except for a couple of exceptions, like emergency help or physiotherapy.
  • It is always 100% insured to visit the family doctor.

Let your Immune System Work!

  • Here doctor's start with the idea that the body can often cure itself.
  • If that is not the case, you will be provided health care.

So not with a normal flu that just started or an upcoming ear infection. But if it stays like that: yes – go back again.

Red Cross: Not Always Doctors

The red cross volunteers are medical volunteers who offer aid. They may be able to help you with little things, reanimation, or immediately provide some pain killers, but if they thing it is necessary, they have to call a doctor.

Doctors Work According to Standards

The Dutch go to the doctor if their body can not cure itself. So that is why doctors make you wait, especially if things just started or if they consider the medical problem something that solves itself or with the help of some home medicines. Of course they can provide or show you the way to (home) medicine and will refer you to specialists if necessary.

All doctors have to swear an oath to help people in their best ability and GP’s have to follow the NHG-standards for everybody in the Netherlands (in Dutch, based on science). So if you think you were treated badly, you can check this protocol to factcheck if you were treated in the right way.

Patients have many rights in our country and can file complaints if necessary after first talked to the doctors. If you are not satisfied with this conversation, you have to right to file an official complaint to a doctor. Patients also have the right to ask for a second opinion at another doctor.  More about your rights as a patient in The Netherlands, you can find here (in Dutch) >>

Fast and Efficient

Because our system is there for all, doctors work rather fast and efficient and don’t provide always medicine if not necessary; a normal GP-appointment takes around 10 minutes. So in order to get the help you think you need, you have to be really direct and factual in what your problems are and were. And allthough this video is for international students – it may make things more clear (do not use the phone numbers in these video’s):

Keywords: Dutch Health Care for Refugees in The Netherlands