The Dutch healthcare system is among the best in the world. Residents have access to high-quality specialised care. The government is responsible for the quality, accessibility and affordability of care.
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 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.
Your GP and dentist in the Netherlands
Once you have moved into your new house, you should immediately start looking for a GP and dentist close to your home and make appointments to meet them both. Be sure to find someone you like and trust enough to register with them. If not, feel free to shop around, so you won't have to go through tiresome procedures to change your GP or dentist later on. In order to find a GP and dentist near you, visit the website of the municipality in which you are registered; a list of all active GPs and dentists is usually provided. If not, you can search for a practice in the area. Your GP is covered by basic insurance (for more on insurance, read on and take a look at our extensive article).
Usually, people visit their dentists about twice a year for a check-up and make additional appointments for any treatment that is required. Depending on your supplementary insurance package, some or most of the costs will be covered. Top-quality dentists in the Netherlands are certified with a quality mark and entered into the KRT (Kwaliteitsregister Tandartsen) quality registry for dentists. You can find a certified dentist through Tandartsregister. Although it’s only 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.
Emergency services in the Netherlands
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.
Hospitals in the Netherlands
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
- Canisius Wilhelmina Hospital (CWZ) (website in Dutch language only).
- University Medical Centre Radboud UMC (website in English as well as Dutch language)
- St. Maartenskliniek (specialised in physical rehabilitation, posture and movement) / (website in Dutch and German language).
Wageningen and surroundings
- Gelderse Vallei Ziekenhuis (website in Dutch language only).
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.