Health Care in the Netherlands is very unique and could be worlds apart from what you're used to. Generally speaking, the Dutch believe that in many cases the body heals itself with minimal intervention. Hence, don't be shocked if your doctor (huisarts) prescribes a good rest and warm soup instead of medicines or an injection. Having said that, medical training in the Netherlands is excellent and Dutch medical technology is among the best in the world.
In the Netherlands, the government is not in charge of the day-to-day management of the healthcare system. Private health suppliers provide the services and the government is responsible for the accessibility and quality of the healthcare. If you are living in the Netherlands or you are paying income-tax in the Netherlands you are required to purchase a health insurance at a Dutch insurance company.
Visits to the hospital and surgeon are generally pre-fixed and first need to be approved by the family doctor (huisarts). In an emergency you should call '112'. This will connect you to the fire, police and ambulance services. For a life-threatening illness or accident, you will be admitted immediately at a hospital. In a non-emergency, your huisarts will decide if hospitalisation is necessary and then make the arrangements. Amsterdam has a wide range of hospitals (ziekenhuizen) of good to excellent quality. The main hospitals in Amsterdam are listed below.
Address: Meibergdreef 9
Tel: +31 (0)20 566 91 11
Address: Laan van de Helende Meesters 8
Tel: +31 (0)20 347 47 47
Nederlands Kanker Instituut/Antoni van Leeuwenhoek
Dutch Cancer hospital and research institute
Address: Plesmanlaan 121
Tel: +31(0)20 512 9111
Boven het IJ Ziekenhuis
Address: Statenjachtstraat 1
Tel: +31 (0)20 634 6346
Address: Prinsengracht 769
Tel: +31 (0)20-599 41 00
Het VU Medisch Centrum
Address: De Boelelaan 1117 - 1118
Tel: +31 (0)20 444 4444
Address: Louwesweg 6
Telefoon: +31 (0)20-512 55 11
Sint Lucas Andreas
Address: Jan Tooropstraat 164
Tel: +31 (0)20 510 8911
In the Netherlands, a pharmacy is called an apotheek and sells both prescription and non-prescription medicines. In general, you have to pay for the medication yourself. It'll be refunded by the insurance company after you send them the bill and the special claim form. Pharmacies are normally open on Monday to Saturday from 9am to 5:30pm. Pharmacies post details of nearby all-night and Sunday pharmacies on their doors.
With so much to deal with before leaving your home country, (taxes, moving house, paperwork etc.) the careful planning of your expatriation to Amsterdam is an essential step. As far as healthcare is concerned, your local social security scheme won’t be accompanying you to your host country and, once abroad, you might be surprised by the care system you find in Netherlands. So, before leaving, make sure you have appropriate cover!
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Designed for either short or long stays, APRIL International’s insurance policies offer protection against any problems that might arise before departure or during your time in Netherlands: cancelling your trip, medical expenses following an illness or accident, needing to be repatriated, causing damage to a third party or losing your luggage.