General Practitioners (GPs) & Doctors in the Netherlands

The first point of contact in getting healthcare in the Netherlands is to register with a doctor (huisart in Dutch) or general practitioner (GP).

It is important to register with a huisart when you arrive in Netherlands. If you have not registered with a GP and you then become ill, you may have difficulty finding a nearby doctor who is taking patients, as their practice may already be full.

How to find a doctor

To search for a local doctor, go to the Ik zoek een huisarts website (in Dutch) and enter your postcode. Or your can visit your Gemeentehuis (town / city hall) and ask for a gemeentegid (a booklet issued by your municipality containing information about as doctors, sports groups, day care, etc.), which will have a list of all the local GPs.

There is also a listing in the Yellow Pages (Gouden Gids) under Artsen - Huisartsen.

Your GP may wish to have a consultation appointment with you to go over your medical history. This is a good opportunity to have any questions about healthcare in the Netherlands answered.

Making appointments with a GP

You can call your GP directly to make an appointment, or many practices have a spreekuur (consultation hour), usually early in the morning, where you can speak to your doctor without an appointment. You may also be able to consult the doctor (or assistant) over the phone in the case of simple questions.

gp doctors netherlands

Some GPs also make house calls, usually after hours or during a specifically allotted time.

If your doctor is away, they will leave an answering message with the number of another doctor and possibly the number of the emergency dokterdienst. The actual doctor varies area to area, so the service will give you the name and number of a doctor on duty near you, or have the doctor call you.

The other option is to call your local huisartsenpost. For more see Emergencies.

Making appointments with a specialist

If you wish to see a specialist, you will need a referral from a general practitioner. You will also need to show this referral to your insurance company if you wish the costs to be covered.

Once you have a referral, you can make an appointment with the specialist directly. If you know the specialist you wish to see, you may request a referral to that person.

Amsterdammers avoid health treatment due to costs

People are avoiding medication, lab research or a visit to a specialist because of increased insurance costs, an inspection of Amsterdam doctors found.

Dutch health forecasts for 2030 released

Report by Dutch government predicts Dutch life expectancy to increase, more chronic illness, less smoking and dementia as a leading cause of death by 2030.

Dutch doctors strike to protest health insurance change

Dutch general practitioners are protesting proposed changes that will force patients to only use medical practitioners approved by their health insurer.

Emergency treatment in Dutch hospitals 10 times cost at GP

Dutch hospital emergency departments may charge up to 10 times more than a local doctor for simple treatments; costs not always covered by health insurance.

[Report] Dutch doctors should use alternative therapies more

Doctors in the Netherlands have been called upon by the Dutch Organisation for Health Research and Development to use more complementary treatments.

Nearly one million Dutch use alternative healers

Six per cent of the Dutch population consulted an alternative healer in 2010-2012, with women and middle-aged people the most likely to do so.

The Dutch are very health conscious

Around three-quarters of Dutch people see their GP and dentist at least once a year.

Health care in the Netherlands - Part 1

How much do you know about the health care in the Netherlands? Learn more about finding and visiting a Dutch doctor (GP), and a specialist.

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Healthcare
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