The Dutch are very health conscious

Research by CBS shows that the Dutch don't neglect their health: around three-quarters of the population see their general practitioner (GP) and dentist once a year.

An apple a day…

Around 12 million people in the Netherlands visited their GP at least once last year. On average, most people go to the doctor just over four times a year.

Older people are the most likely to see the doctor regularly: over 80 per cent of people over 75 saw their GP at least once last year. Children under four also go regularly. In contrast, children aged 4-15 had the least contact with their GP out of all age groups.

Women go more often than men

More women (77 per cent) than men (66 per cent) visit their GP. This is partly because women are on average older than men, but also because of typically female health problems related to the uterus, breasts, pregnancy and contraception.

The differences between men and women are largest in the 16-39 years age group: more than three-quarters of women in this age group had seen their GP at least once, compared with six in 10 men.

A nation of clean teeth

The Dutch also visit their dentists regularly: over three-quarters of the population go to the dentist at least once a year. This percentage is almost unchanged since the beginning of this century.

Overall, the Dutch made over 38 million appointments with their dentists in 2012, nearly two-thirds of which were for regular check-ups. The remainder were for more extensive treatment such as plaque removal, fillings, extraction, and crowns and bridgework.

As with doctors, slightly more women than men visit their dentists, especially in the 30-49 year age group. Children also go regularly, from the age of four onwards. Only after age 55 do people visit their dentist less frequently: only 45 per cent of over-75s see their dentist regularly, mostly because they are more likely to have dentures.

Alexandra Gowling


Alexandra Gowling

Alexandra is an Australian citizen and an experienced expat, having spent (quite a bit of) time in Asia before coming to the Netherlands a year ago. She enjoys writing, reading...

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