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Healthcare in the Netherlands

Healthcare in the Netherlands

Family doctor (general practitioner, 'huisarts')

If you need medical treatment, you can visit a general practitioner (GP). We strongly advise you to register with a GP as soon as possible after arrival. After you have registered with a GP you can make an appointment, in case medical treatment is needed. You have to make an appointment by telephone to consult the doctor at his or her practice.

The assistant will judge whether or not your complaints warrant a doctor’s visit to your house. Internationals who come to the Netherlands are often surprised by the manner in which medical treatment is provided here. To avoid confusion or frustration, the following information may be useful: in the Netherlands, your general practitioner will be your main source for medical care. The extent of responsibility and treatment of the general practitioner goes further than in many other countries. This means they seldom give recommendations for treatment from a specialist and instead treat the problem themselves.

Furthermore, there is often the impression that Dutch general practitioners under-medicate their patients in comparison to many other countries. For example, when calling for an appointment to see your doctor it is not unusual to be told by the assistant that you should wait several more days to see if your symptoms go away spontaneously. When they do not, you will be granted an appointment to see the general practitioner.

When visiting the general practitioner, you may hear again that you will need to wait before any medication is prescribed. This is sometimes a point of frustration for internationals when visiting their general practitioner in the Netherlands, but it is common practice here and experience shows it works out well.

The GP decides whether to send you to see a specialist and, if necessary, send you to a hospital. If you need medicines, you will receive a prescription from the GP. With the prescription you can collect the medicine at a local pharmacy (apotheek).

For emergencies after 5 p.m. and during weekends please call the ‘Huisartsenpost': tel. 0900-8880. Address: Weg door Jonkerbos 108, 6532 SZ Nijmegen.

In case of acute circumstances you can visit the First Aid Department of a hospital or in case of an emergency or life-threatening situation call 112

Dentist ('tandarts')

The quality of dental care in the Netherlands is good on a comparative basis with other developed countries. And like most things in the Netherlands, there are very few variations in the standard of care, either in terms of poor or excellent treatment.

Suggestion for a dental practice

Tandartspraktijk E. Maenen, Bijleveldsingel 74, Nijmegen, tel. 024 - 3221430, from 8.30 a.m.- 12.30 p.m. and from 1.30 p.m. - 5 p.m. After 5 p.m. and during the weekend, the message on the answering machine (message in Dutch) will inform you about which (other) dentist is on duty (for acute cases).

You can also use the facilities of UMC St Radboud Medical Centre, department of Dentistry. You can call them for more information: (024) 361 41 26. They also have their own website (unforunately only in Dutch).

Please note: Dental treatment is not always covered by your medical insurance, so please check.

Hospitals

If you are not feeling well or have complaints you must first go and see your general practioner (GP), as explained above. Only in case of acute circumstances you can visit the First Aid Department of a hospital (EHBO / Eerste hulp).

In case there are no acute circumstances but you decide to visit the First Aid Department of a hospital, a high treatment fee may apply.

Psychological help and student support

Student Counselors’ Office 
The Office of Student Counselors is specialised in advising and stimulating students to solve their problems by looking for the right decisions. Needless to say, any conversation you might have with one of the counselors is strictly confidential.

Student Counselors’ Office 
Houtlaan 4 
PO Box 9102 
6500 HC Nijmegen 
Tel.: +31-24-3612345 
Fax: +31-24-3615547 
E-mail: balie@ru.nl 
Opening hours: Mondays to Fridays from 10 A.M. - 5 P.M. 

Psychologists’ Office 
Some problems can be so serious that the ‘regular’ counselors discussed in the section above cannot help out. Consequently, you might have to turn to the Students’ psychologists for a solution, either with respect to personal problems that impair your studies, or with respect to specific psychological problems directly related to them, e.g., fear of examinations. Do not wait too long! It is better to go in vain than not to go at all and end up in a worse state than before. They also organise sessions and courses to improve study skills such 
as preparing for examinations, addressing groups, writing papers, etc. If you think you need to see a psychologist or a tutor, please contact us and we will make an appointment for you as soon as possible. 

Psychologists’ Office 
Houtlaan 4 
PO Box 9102 
6500 HC Nijmegen 
Tel.: +31-24-3612345 
Fax: +31-24-3615547 
E-mail: centralstudentdesk@ru.nl 
Opening hours: Mondays to Fridays from 10 A.M. - 5 P.M.


You can download a flyer with addresses of doctors here (pdf, 126 kB).