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Healthcare in the Netherlands

One of the major differences between countries is healthcare: how the system works, what underpins it, people’s experiences, etc. It is no different with healthcare and health services or health insurance in the Netherlands. While it scores well internationally, each person’s individual perception, and experience with healthcare will vary depending on what they know and how they manage their own expectations. With the answers we provide, to the more frequently asked questions about healthcare, we hope to contribute to a better understanding, and experience with the system. Two key cornerstones are good to know: every resident of the Netherlands must have health insurance – and for those coming to live in the Netherlands there is a four-month grace period for choosing your healthcare insurance. During the time, as of the date of registering in the Netherlands, you are essentially covered – but will be back charged from the moment you formally registered to live here. Second: the role of the huisarts (family doctor, general practitioner) is paramount. They serve as a ‘gatekeeper’ to the system, and we highly recommend finding one, before you need one.

You can find more answers in the below sections:

Dutch healthcare: FAQs to help you acquire a general understanding of what to do when you want to find and visit general practitioner, see a medical specialist or go to a Dutch hospital.  and information about which medical services are covered and reimbursed by your insurance. Includes information about mental health treatment in the Netherlands and how to get common vaccinations in the Netherlands. Most importantly, there are steps you should follow in emergency cases in order to call an ambulance or use the emergency department of the hospital.

Dutch Medical insurances: provides a better understanding of what is included in basic Dutch health insurance, its coverage and deductibles, and whether there are other health insurance policies and what the differences between them are. We also outline some specifics of health insurance, such as: whether insurance is required for a short-term stay or whether it is possible to use international insurance, reimbursement of costs without insurance, using Dutch insurance abroad and consequences following failure to take out insurance in time. Likewise, you will be able to read about healthcare allowances, zorgtoeslag (healthcare allowance), and the requirements for receiving it. Finally, this section provides some general insurance guidelines for students.

Having a baby: a guide for the process of having a baby in the Netherlands: prenatal care (practical preparations, prenatal tests, insurance coverage, midwife services and preparation courses), giving birth (options for delivery, giving birth at home, access to medication) and, kraamzorg (maternity care) (registration, nurses and costs). In addition, this section provides all types of legal matters that might be faced in due course: registration, needed documents, insurance, acquisition of Dutch nationality by the child, recognition of the baby by the father and traveling with your child. We also highlight which types of kindersbijslag (child benefits), exist and what the requirements are for getting them. There is also information about maternity leave and the role of the consultatiebureau (children health clinic).

For the most recent review/update of FAQs related to Healthcare we thank: ACCESS Volunteers – Genoveva Geppaart and Nancy Kroonenberg, ACCESS Partners – Loonzorg B.V., and childbirth educator Lee Tolman.