Information for patients
The Netherlands has a universal healthcare system. It’s managed by the government and supplemented by private insurers. Anyone living or working in the Netherlands must obtain basic level health insurance from a Dutch provider and register with a local doctor who plays an important role in healthcare in the Netherlands; they are the first stop to receive any type of medical treatment.
There are 3 types of hospitals: university hospitals, general hospitals, and teaching hospitals. Most of them are privately run. Patients must be referred by the local doctor in order to see a specialist. Most specialists work in a hospital setting, and unfortunately it is possible to experience a long wait period. The basic health insurance package will cover a visit to a specialist, but an excess fee may apply, depending on the treatment.
The Netherlands has a network of 160 acute primary care centres, open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, making an open clinic within easy reach for most people.
Information for healthcare professionals
Both undergraduate and postgraduate medical training in the Netherlands takes place in eight university medical centers.
There are 10 healthcare professions which have a protected title under the Individual Healthcare Act (Wet op de Beroepen in de Individuele Gezondheidszorg, BIG).
Healthcare professionals with a foreign diploma that want to work as care providers in the Netherlands, need to have their diploma recognised through the BIG register. If the certificate was issued in the Dutch special municipalities of Bonaire, St Eustatius or Saba, still needs to be recognised in the same way.
To work in the Netherlands as a healthcare professional it is important to have sufficient command of the Dutch language.
Information for travellers
If you’re a tourist from an EU/EEA country and staying in the Netherlands for less than 12 months, you can use your European Health Insurance Card. Temporary visitors from outside the EU/EEA should arrange to have their own travel insurance or international health insurance while in the Netherlands.
Most doctors in Netherlands will speak English.
Link to the Ministry of Health: https://www.government.nl/ministries/ministry-of-health-welfare-and-sport