Question: I will move to the Netherlands soon/ I have just moved to the Netherlands. Do I need to register myself with a family doctor/general practitioner? If so, how can I find one?
Family doctors in the Netherlands (huisarts) are the first point of contact for any health issues. To gain access to the medical system you need to register with a huisarts. They have their practices in residential areas and operate on an appointment system.
Thehuisartstreats patients for basic problems and can answer most of your general health questions. He/she performs, for example, standard gynaecological or paediatric examinations. Yourhuisartswill also serve as your link to most other services, such as hospitalisation, specialists, home nursing midwifery and physiotherapy.
You can choose your own doctor and it is useful to choose one close to home for mostly practical reasons. To find a localhuisartsyou can try asking neighbours, friends, colleagues, or the nearest pharmacy (apotheek) for recommendations, or request a list from your insurance company.
You can look in the telephone directory underHuisartsfor listings near your postcode or you can search the website http://www.huisartsen.nl. (in Dutch).
ACCESS has comprehensive guides covering frequently encountered issues by members of the international community in the Netherlands and we have one in particular about Healthcare in the Netherlands. You may download the ACCESS Guide from here. Important information regarding family doctors (huisarts) can be found on Page 7.