Healthcare system

The Netherlands has one of the best healthcare systems in the world. All residents of the Netherlands have access to this healthcare. The government regularly checks whether the quality standards are met, whether it's accessible to everyone and whether it's affordable for everyone.

Insurance in the Netherlands

If you are working or living in the Netherlands, it’s compulsory to have health insurance. This is even the case if you are only staying for a year. A basic insurance package, as defined by the government, is mandatory for everyone living in the Netherlands. Optional supplementary insurance packages are available at an additional cost. Insurance companies must accept all applicants. Please visit the English website of the Union of Dutch Healthcare Insurers or the Expat page on for information on all Dutch health insurance companies.

Health insurance is a complicated subject, which is why we have created an extensive article about health insurance in the Netherlands. It’s specifically geared towards expats and international students, with details and links to handy websites.

Dutch medical services are available 24/7 and the Dutch (and European) emergency telephone number for life-threatening situations is 1-1-2. It’s important to note, however, that who you need to call depends on the situation. Please read our article on this subject to avoid either extremes of 1) not getting the right help in time or 2) having to pay for unnecessarily contacting emergency services.

GPs and dentists

Once you've moved to the Netherlands, it's advisable to try and find a nearby GP and dentist as soon as possible. Your municipality most likely provides an overview of the nearby practices of GPs and dentists, on their website for instance. Can't find it there? Just perform an internet search for a practice in your area. Your GP visits are covered by basic insurance. If you have a condition that requires further treatment, it's possible that you'll need to pay for additional costs, depending on your insurance policies.

Most Dutch people go to the dentist twice a year to have their oral health checked. Other appointments are only scheduled when you're in real need, for instance with an intense toothache or if a tooth or oral implant breaks. Most costs are covered, depending on your policy of course. You can find a certified dentist through Tandartsregister (Dentist Registry). Even though it’s only available in Dutch, you can still use it if you don’t speak the language: simply enter the name of your Dutch place of residence into the search bar and you’ll instantly see the names of certified dentists in your area. Their address will be displayed, and after clicking the link below their name, you’ll also be able to see contact details.

Hospitals in the region

Below you can find the names and websites of general hospitals in our region, per local area:

Arnhem and surroundings

  • Rijnstate Ziekenhuis (website in Dutch language only), with local medical centres in the city centre of Arnhem, in Arnhem-Zuid, Zevenaar and Velp.

Nijmegen and surroundings

Wageningen and surroundings

Despite the fact that some websites are only available in Dutch, the hospitals will help you everywhere in both English and Dutch.

Pharmacies in the Netherlands

Medication prescribed by your GP, dentist or hospital physicians can only be bought at pharmacies. These are usually open during office hours but there is also a general rotation system to ensure 24/7 coverage throughout the city. 'Lighter' drugs, such as aspirin, can also be bought over the counter at all drugstores.