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ACCESS NL > Healthcare in the Netherlands > Dutch healthcare system > Visiting the Huisarts – GP
The majority of huisartsen (GPs) in the Netherlands are Dutch but many have a good command of English. However, in areas with a large number of expatriate residents there are health care centres specialised in providing a specific service for expats.
As soon as you have your health insurance, it is important to register right away with a huisarts (GP). You can find a doctor or medical centre in your area at: www.zorgkaartnederland.nl/zorginstelling (in Dutch only) or in Check-nl.com. You can also contact the ACCESS Helpdesk on 0900 222 2377 (€0.20/c per min), 10:00-16:00, Monday to Friday, or send an email via this form.
All doctors during a patient consult have a choice to contact the ‘tolkentelefoon ‘(interpreters phone). Currently, this organisation Interpreter and Translation Centre Netherlands (Tolk- en vertaalcentrum Nederland) has approximately 1500 available interpreters and translators able to translate around 130 languages. Besides translating documents, the translators can assists doctors/specialists during their doctor/patient consultation. Please note that you will be charged for this service. You can find more information at: Tvcn.nl (Dutch only) .
Alternatively, you can ask a Dutch-speaking friend to accompany you to the doctor’s appointment.
Healthcare in the Netherlands is accessible 24/7.
If you call your huisarts (GP) outside normal opening hours (usually after 5 p.m. and before 8 a.m.), a recorded telephone message will usually provide contact details for an on-duty huisarts or the number of the doktersdienst (medical advice service). Often these messages are recorded in Dutch, so it is helpful to have a Dutch speaker available to listen to the message. Alternatively, you can find a list of 24-hour medical and dental service numbers on the ACCESS website: www.access-nl.org/living-in-the-netherlands/living/emergency-numbers-and-other-useful-information.
If your huisarts (GP) is working in a group practice and you prefer one of the other GPs in the practice, you can schedule your appointments during his/her office hours.
If you want to change to a new GP, it is best to check if he/she is willing to accept you as a patient. Some GP don’t accept new patients because their practice is full. Acceptance also depends on the distance between the practice and your home address in order to provide house visits when necessarily. Once you are sure that you can go to the GP of your choice, ask your former GP to send your medical file to the new GP.
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