Foreign students and expats

In contrast to many other countries, in the Netherlands the ‘huisarts’ (General Practitioner, GP) plays an important role in health care.  A visit to your GP is your first stop on your way to receive medical treatment, whatever doctor you might need. A GP in the Netherlands is well trained for all sorts of treatments for which you are used to be referred to the hospital specialist in your home country. The GP can prescribe medication or initiate a treatment, but can also refer you to a specialist in or outside hospital.

Treatment in hospital

If you are referred to hospital, the specialist keeps the GP informed about your medical problems. Therefore, the GP is the collector of all your medical information and therefore the only one in the medical system who has contact with all the medical institutions you might visit. You might consider your GP as the spider in the web. Without a referral note from your General Practitioner, it is very hard to make an appointment with a specialist. Without the referral note, your health insurance company might not reimburse you if you have a Dutch Insurance.

Contacting a General Practitioner

It is advisable to register at a GP close to your home. This makes it easier for you to visit the practice and for the doctor to visit you (in case your medical problems requires a home call). It is recommended to register with a GP after you know where you will be living or staying.

Not insured in the Netherlands?

We only accept patients with a Dutch basic insurance. Without a basic insurance you can register with Jans Huisartsen (Kralingen and Center) or IHCR. They treat your questions and medical situation confidentially and with care. Their GP’s and co-workers speak and understand English well, which makes it easier for you to clearify your situation.