The Dutch Healthcare System

This expat relocation tip highlights all about the Dutch healthcare system, sharing unique aspects that are particularly relevant to expats relocating to The Hague or any part of the Netherlands.

Moving to a new country comes with its challenges and understanding the healthcare system is important for expats. The Netherlands boasts a highly efficient, accessible healthcare system, recognized globally for its quality and patient-centric approach. This blog post informs you about the Dutch healthcare system, highlighting unique aspects that are particularly relevant to expats relocating to The Hague or any part of the Netherlands.

Mandatory Health Insurance

A distinctive feature of the Dutch healthcare system is the mandatory health insurance for all residents. Upon moving to The Netherlands, expats must register for health insurance within four months. This universal coverage ensures that everyone has access to the healthcare services they need. From general practitioner visits to specialized care and hospitalization. For expats, navigating the array of insurance providers and plans might seem daunting, but it’s a crucial step in settling into your new life in The Hague.

Primary Care: Your First Point of Contact

In The Netherlands, your general practitioner (huisarts) is your primary healthcare provider and the first point of contact for all health-related issues. Registering with a huisarts soon after your arrival is essential. These general practitioners play a vital role in the Dutch healthcare system, offering comprehensive care and referrals to specialists when necessary. For expats, finding a huisarts who speaks your language or has experience with international patients can make your healthcare experience smoother.

Access to Specialists and Hospitals

Access to specialized care in The Netherlands requires a referral from your general practitioner. This emphasizes the system’s coordinated approach to healthcare. The country is home to numerous world-class hospitals and specialist clinics. Many of these are located in or near The Hague. This referral system ensures that specialist care is based on a thorough evaluation of your health needs, maintaining the efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare services.

Pharmacies and Medications

Pharmacies in The Netherlands (apotheek) are responsible for dispensing prescription medications. Upon receiving a prescription from your huisarts or specialist, you can collect your medication from any pharmacy. Many pharmacies in The Hague cater to the expat community, offering advice and instructions in English and other languages.

Mental Health Services

The Dutch healthcare system places a strong emphasis on mental health, with services readily accessible through your general practitioner. Expats facing challenges with relocation, cultural adjustment or other stressfactors, can find support through counseling and therapy services. Mental health care is included in the mandatory health insurance coverage, ensuring that everyone has access to the necessary support.

Emergency Services

In case of an emergency, dialing 112 will connect you to ambulance services, fire department and police. For urgent medical care that doesn’t require an ambulance, most regions have an after-hours huisartsenpost (GP station) for evenings and weekends.

To conclude, adapting to the Dutch healthcare system as an expat involves understanding its structure. It is mandatory to register for a health insurance and establish care with a general practitioner. The system’s efficiency, quality of care and comprehensive coverage make it a standout feature of living in The Netherlands. For expats relocating to The Hague, familiarizing yourself with these aspects ensures that your health and well-being are exceptionally taken care of.

For more guidance on expat relocation and making the most of your new life in The Hague, visit our website. Our expert team at Expat Relocation The Hague is dedicated to providing you with the support and information you need for a seamless transition.