Dutch Health Care System
The Dutch health care system is often referred to as the ‘gate-keeper system’; the General Practitioner (GP, huisarts) or family doctor being the main link to any specialist or hospital. In order to see a medical specialist at the hospital, you will need to make an appointment with your GP to receive a referral.
Without exception, health insurance is compulsory in the Netherlands. The insurance reimburses part of you medical costs, depending on the type of insurance you have chosen. See 'insurances' to learn more about health care insurance.
General Practitioner (huisarts)
When you first arrive in the Netherlands, make sure to register with a GP in your neighbourhood. It is necessary to make an appointment before visiting a doctor in the Netherlands. In the case of an emergency, it will be possible to meet with your doctor on the same day. A doctor can determine whether or not a referral to a specialist is necessary. Prescriprions for medicine are also prescribed by your GP. Take your prescription to the nearest pharmacy (apotheek) to collect your medicine.
The national emergency number (for medical assistance, police or fire brigade) is 112. You are only allowed to call this number in case of emergencies. Health insurance will not cover the cost of a non-emergency visit to the first aid department of a hospital.
Outside office hours, a special GP emergency unit (huisartsenpost) can be reached by dialling the following phone number: 0900 513 80 39. It is located at the LUMC (Leiden University Medical Center), Albinusdreef 2, Leiden. This unit is set up for emergencies only and it is more expensive to consult with than a GP during the weekly consulting hours. Your health insurance will not cover the costs of a non-emergency visit to the GP emergency unit.
Regional Health Services (GGD, Gemeentelijke Gezondheids Dienst)
Addresses in Leiden
Oude Vest 59
T: + 31 71 5124724