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Medical insurance

Everyone in the Netherlands must have insurance cover for medical expenses. The type of health insurance that you will need will depend on your personal situation.

For further information regarding medical insurance cover, please click here.

General practitioners

In the Netherlands, the ‘huisarts’ (doctor, general practitioner, GP) provides full medical assistance in accordance with the standards designated for the practice of medicine by medical professionals in the Netherlands. We strongly recommend that you register yourself with a GP in your area as soon as possible after your arrival in the Netherlands.

The most practical thing to do is to register with a GP who operates a practice as close to your home address as possible. If you need to visit your GP, you will usually need to make an appointment in advance.


In each city, you will find at least one ‘ziekenhuis’ (hospital). The Accident & Emergency Department is called the ‘Eerste Hulp Bij Ongelukken’, or ‘EHBO’ in Dutch and the telephone number for all emergency services in Holland is 112. For hospital admission for non-emergency treatment, you will need to keep your insurance company informed and check your policy for your level of cover. Your insurer will require a referral letter from your GP. If you need to see a specialist at the hospital, you will need to make the appointment yourself.


If you need to see a ‘tandarts’ (dentist), you will need to make an appointment by telephone, by calling between the hours of 09:00 and 10:00. Remember to check your insurance cover, as free dental services are not available in the Netherlands.


Medicines prescribed by a GP can be collected from an ‘apotheek’ (pharmacy, chemist). Generally, pharmacies are open on weekdays from 08:30 to 17:30. Outside these hours, you can call an emergency number, but only in urgent cases. Most pharmacies are closed during weekends.

Ambience photo Fontys