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Family doctor / general practitioner (GP)

In Dutch: Huisarts

Finding a doctor

First of all, it's important - even compulsory - to take out Dutch health insurance. Once that is settled, you can choose a family doctor/general practitioner (GP). The GP is your first point of contact regarding illness and medical issues (except for medical emergencies).

It is compulsory to register with a GP, but you are free to choose which one. You can contact a practice of your choice to enquire whether they take on new patients and whether the doctor in question is comfortable speaking English. Some practices are full and others only take patients on who reside in the same postal code (e.g. 6525). It is best to choose a practice near your home.

To find a local GP, go to the 'Kies uw huisarts' ('Choose your GP') website.
To read more on general practitioners in the Netherlands, go to the Iamexpat website.

Visiting your doctor

To see a doctor in the Netherlands, you will typically need to make an appointment. However, some GP practices offer a walk-in consultation hour (in Dutch: inloop-spreekuur). If you phone the practice during office hours, you will usually be able to get an appointment within a few days. If you have health insurance, generally you will not have to pay upfront, but simply hand in your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) and your ID, and the insurance will take care of the cost.

Specialist care / referral

RU medischIn order to see a medical specialist in the Netherlands, you need a referral from your GP. Once you have a referral, you can make an appointment with the specialist directly, usually through the hospital they work from. Find out more on local hospitals.

Make sure you check with your insurance company whether the type of treatment you require, is covered, and whether there is a maximum number of treatments or maximum amount. In order to cover the cost of the treatment, the insurance company usually requires the referral letter.

Medical emergencies and 112

If you are in need of an ambulance, you need to call 112. For other medical emergencies, there are different procedures. Find out what to do in case of a medical emergency.


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