What to do in an emergency in the Netherlands

What to do in an emergency in the Netherlands

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Located in the historic centre of Amsterdam, Tandarts Jordaan dental care offers exceptional facilities and hygiene practices, skilled and experienced multilingual staff, personalised customer care, and convenient opening hours to suit your busy schedule and / or dental emergencies. 

As a newly arrived expat in the Netherlands, organising 101 different things, or as a visitor with a schedule packed full of exciting activities, it’s easy to forget to avail yourself of a few basic but essential pieces of information when you arrive.

No one wants to think about an accident or emergency happening, however, it only takes a couple of minutes to commit this important information to memory. Here are all the essential need-to-knows about where you can get help when you have an emergency in the Netherlands:

Emergency numbers

It might not be the first thing on your mind when moving to or visiting a new country, but it sure is handy to know by heart - the quick dial for the emergency services. It’s not 911, nor is it 999. In the Netherlands, like the most of Europe, it is 112. Calls to the emergency number are usually answered within 3 seconds. Don’t speak Dutch? Don’t worry, 112 operators need to be able to speak at least one foreign language, this language is often English.

Perhaps equally important, and more often used, are the non-emergency telephone numbers for when you need police or medical assistance, but the situation is less critical. For non-emergency police assistance within the Netherlands, you should call 0900-8844. For non-emergency medical help, call your GP (huisarts). Don’t have a GP or are you calling outside of practice hours? Call the huisartsenpost.

Emergency dentist

Is the root cause of your problem your teeth? If so, you are better off going to an emergency dentist than a doctor.

For instance, if you have an acute or severe toothache or have broken or lost a tooth in an accident, you should call an expat-friendly dentist to make an emergency dental appointment. You will be helped the same day. The same goes for other urgent problems. like losing a filling / crown, or unexpected bleeding after oral surgery.

Even if you’re not a patient at a certain dentist, it is possible to request an emergency appointment there. If this is the case, and you do make an appointment, you should bring your ID, insurance card and debit / credit card with you.


In some countries, access to an out-of-hours doctor may depend on your region or type of insurance coverage. In the Netherlands, they have come up with an ingenious system - the huisartsenpost.

If you are concerned that a complaint is urgent and can’t wait till the following working day but it is not necessarily an emergency warranting an immediate trip to the hospital, you can call and make an appointment with the on-duty doctor at the huisartsenpost.

Please note, you may incur extra costs using the services of the huisartsenpost, however, more often than not your health insurance will cover these. To find a general practitioner or huisartsenpost in your area, check

Accident & emergency vs. first aid

If you have a real emergency, the hospital should be your first stop. Is the situation severe? Call 112 for an ambulance. Otherwise, head to the hospital emergency room yourself. Emergency departments in the Netherlands are split into two: life-threatening emergencies and trauma (think heart attacks, strokes and major accidents) and first aid for things that aren’t quite so time-sensitive.

Simple as it may seem, the split means different waiting rooms, waiting times and the avoidance of huge queues. Make sure you have your passport and medical and / or travel insurance details handy or bring your EHIC (formerly E111) card with you if you’re British.

Do you have a dental emergency? Tandarts Jordaan is an expat dentist, which is also open on Sundays and evenings (Mondays - Wednesdays).

Even if you are not a regular customer, Tandarts Jordaan is able to help you with your dental emergency! Contact them by clicking on the button below.

Maarten Vaartjes


Maarten Vaartjes

Maarten Vaartjes is a dentist and co-owner of dental clinic TandartsJordaan, located in Amsterdam centre. Trained in both Amsterdam and New York Maarten and his staff combine international high end...

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