About the Huisarts… that’s what we call a General Practitioner in Holland.
In the Dutch healthcare system, general practitioners (huisarts) play a central role as the first point of contact for medical issues. Registering with a local huisarts is advisable, as they are responsible for coordinating your healthcare and referring you to specialists if necessary.
- Finding a General Practitioner: Begin by researching and selecting a huisarts in your local area. You can use online directories or ask for recommendations from neighbors, colleagues, or your expat community.
- Registering with a Huisarts: Contact the chosen huisarts to register. You will need your health insurance information and proof of residence. Once registered, you can schedule appointments for routine check-ups or when you have health concerns.
When visiting a doctor in the Netherlands, keep the following points in mind:
- Appointments: It is customary to schedule appointments in advance. In non-emergency situations, contact your huisarts to arrange a suitable time.
- Language: Many healthcare professionals in the Netherlands speak English, but it’s helpful to know some basic Dutch medical terms. However, language barriers are minimal, making communication relatively straightforward for expats.
- Prescriptions: If prescribed medication, your huisarts will provide you with a prescription that you can take to a pharmacy (apotheek) to collect your medication.
- Emergency Care: In case of emergencies, call 112 for immediate assistance. For non-emergency health concerns outside regular office hours, you can contact the huisartsenpost (general practitioner’s emergency service).
Costs and Reimbursement:
Healthcare costs in the Netherlands are covered by health insurance. However, you may be required to pay a deductible (eigen risico) for certain services. Keep receipts and invoices, as you may be eligible for reimbursement from your insurance provider.
Navigating the Dutch healthcare system as an expatriate may seem daunting initially, but with proper information and preparation, it becomes a seamless part of your new life. Registering with a huisarts, understanding appointment procedures, and having a basic grasp of health insurance are essential steps to ensure you receive quality healthcare during your time in the Netherlands. Embrace the accessible and efficient Dutch healthcare system, and you’ll be well-equipped to address your medical needs with confidence.