Indians in Netherlands > My Experiences > The medical system
Updated:
A health insurance is mandatory in Netherlands. Basic insurance covers for free visits to the general doctor (for medicines you have to pay). The general doctor is called the GP. If your illness requires hospitalization or seeing of a specialist doctor (ex: dermatologist, gynecologist etc), that is also covered. For dental, physiotherapy coverage you need to take additional insurance.
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Once you get your insurance paper, you need to register yourself (and family) with a doctor (GP). You can visit only that GP for any illness (except dental and emergency cases)! If the GP thinks your illness needs a specialist, he/she can recommend you to a specialist.
For kids, in addition to the above you need to:
– register your child with Zuid Zorg. Zuid Zorg is responsible for immunization, growth check and progress monitoring of your child. Your GP will not do any of these.
– register with a dentist and visit them every 5 or 6 months for general checkup. Dentist visits are free of cost for children even if you do not have dental insurance.
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The GP will give a prescription that you have to buy in an Apotheek (Medical store). The procedure of buying the medicine is:

– you provide your insurance number to the Apotheek
– Apotheek will give you the medicine without asking you to pay
– Apotheek will send the bill to your insurance company
– if the total cost of the medicines you have bought so far for the year is less than €360/-, the insurance company will charge the bill to you. Anything over €360/- for the calendar year will be paid by the insurance company.
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Important to note:
GPs work only from Monday thru Friday, 8:30AM to 5:00PM!! Due to this limited window, even on their work day, you may or may not get an appointment on the same day! They also go on vacation very often!! In emergency situations, you can visit a hospital (open 24×7) after taking an appointment. Depending on how serious the hospital doctor thinks your condition is, he/she might accept or refuse to treat you.
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Also a well known fact about Dutch GPs is that they will not prescribe medicines easily. If they expect the illness will go away on its own, they will just give you some assurance and ask you to just go back home and take rest!
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Services here is world class. But there are also exceptions…I have heard a few cases of negligence, ignorance etc. So sometimes you may want to insist what you want the GP to do based on your opinion, knowledge etc. For not so normal cases, people surf the internet, identify the problem and take the solution to the GP!! So good luck 🙂
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Disclaimer: The is my best effort and personal opinion. No responsibility will be taken for any inaccuracy

14 thoughts on “The medical system

  1. Anonymous

    Hey, Can you pls provide some info on choosing a GP? How to choose one? are there any ratings for GPs or I choose one randomly? Do you personally suggest any GPs that are taking new patients?

    Ur response is much appreciated.

    Thanks a lot for ur time and effort.

    Reply
    1. Madhu

      Choosing a GP is generally by word of mouth. If you are having difficulty, the townhall can help in providing you a list. Sometimes the GPs also take patients whose address is near to their office. Some doctors have walkin visits generally from 8AM to 8.30AM. This really helps. Also enquiry the average wait time to get an appointment. If it is anything more than next day, go for someone else.

      Reply
  2. Rekha

    Hi Madhu,

    My husband is travelling to Den Bosch on a short term work permit during Oct’14 and will stay for 3 months. Is your tip on tax stuff applicable for him?
    I am planning to accompany him with two sons, 10 and 4. Given the weather conditions, do you think we will be able to go anywhere at all? I’m not sure how the younger one will brave the weather and may need medical attention at any time. This post has left me thinking… Do we need to depend on public transport or do you think we can afford a car there?

    Any inputs on stay at den bosch and the above is helpful.

    Regards,
    Rekha

    Reply
    1. admin

      Hi Rekha, from what I know the tax tips are applicable only when you have stayed at least 6 months in NL. But some have applied immediately on arrival and got the money also! Oct will be cold, but with proper clothing you will not feel it. Just make sure the warm clothing that you buy fits you well…do not buy lose clothing. It will result in cold air entering in and make you feel very cold. I know there are a few Indians in Den Bosch, but I do not have further details. But Eindhoven has a very good Indian community. -Madhu.

      Reply
      1. Rekha

        Thank you so much Madhu.

        Is travelling in and around, say switzerland a problem from Nov-Jan(Could be too cold) ? I mean do they close all scenic spots etc?
        If we are confined to our homes, I am thinking there is no point travelling with two small kids.
        Also, God forbid, in case kids need medical attention(They have never seen below 12 deg C), are the pediatricians available round the clock? My elder kid has wheezing problems.

        Reply
        1. admin

          In Nov – travelling is not a problem. Beyond that you need to watch out for snow. It can snow anytime between Dec and Feb. When it is lot of snow, travel becomes a problem. Otherwise, it is normal travel. On average you can consider about 7 days of disruption in these 3 months. In Swiss the mountains, cities and some attractions will remain open. Waterfalls, lake boating etc will close. You need to pick activities that are related to snow! For medical conditions, you cannot go to a specialist yourself (pls go thru my article on medical system). Pediatricians are available round the clock in hospitals, but they will see their patients only when it is really needed and is referred by the doctors below. Note that it is also possible that due to better air quality here, your child’s wheezing is gone inspite of the cold weather!! This has happened to many including my father-in-law!!
          Your key to get out of home is proper warm clothing – if you get this right, I’m sure you will enjoy your time here!

          Reply
  3. abhijeet

    Madhu

    This is a very informative place you have created.

    I have my office in Den bosh and would be joining end Novemeber with my family of 2 kids – 10 yr girl and 5 yr boy.

    I am prefering Eindhoven as a place of stay. Can you guide me with some good apartments ( 2 BHK) in eindhoven. Hows the Eindhoven international school for the kids.

    Is there any direct train from Eindhoven to den bosh and whats the likely travel time?

    Your support is highly appreciated.

    regds

    Reply
    1. admin

      Hi Abhijeet, housing: you will need to search with help of agents. Housing is always difficult like in most cities. School: Is good, anyway you do not have much choice! Train: yes there is. For further details, please refer my blog on Public Transport.

      Reply
  4. Maria

    Hi sir, our 3year old son and me preparing to go to netherlands with my husband working in amsterdam. What are the precautions I taken for the trip, please give me a detailed description on weather conditions in months march to may. And how my child’s health respond to the climate.

    Reply
    1. Madhu

      Pls google for detailed weather history. There are plenty of children here….local born and recently migrated. Do not worry too much….just get your clothing right.

      Reply
  5. Monmi

    Hi Madhu,

    Really appreciate your tremendous effort to help people like us though this blog!

    Having a query: Is this “basic medical insurance” covers all kinds of illness including surgeries (if required) ? (I know except to dental and physiotherapy) or are there any slabs present in medical insurance scheme/coverage/terms? if yes what all slabs/policy other then basic one can opt for ?

    Thanks in advance,

    Reply
    1. Madhu

      Slabs are available. Ask your insurance company. Insurance company CZ.nl has related info in English.

      Reply

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