Understanding the Dutch healthcare system

Dutch healthcare is regarded as among the best in the world and citizens in the Netherlands have access to both advanced treatments and preventative care. The government funds hospitals and long-term care through taxation, while medical insurance is used to pay for short-term treatment. It is mandatory to purchase at least basic health insurance, even if you are already insured in another country. Children under 18 years old are insured via their parents at no extra cost.

There is very little difference between private and public hospitals, with the quality of care being quite high of both. Keep in mind that you generally cannot see a specialist without obtaining a referral from your General Practitioner (GP). This is not universally so, so check ahead and save time. Should a referral be needed, be aware that you may find that you need to attend several GP appointments before one is given. That is why it is important to register at a GP soon after you arrive in the country. In most cases, you will need to register at a GP that is no more than 15 minutes travel distance from your home (exceptions apply). Part of the reason is that, if necessary, they can easily make a visit at your home!

Download the 'Healthcare in the Netherlands' brochure, produced by the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, for more information.

Healthcare, as well many of the essentials about life in NL, is also addressed in our newly updated Newcomer's Guide, published by the International Talent Community (ITC) Utrecht Region and Utrecht Marketing (UM). 

UPDATE: In September 2018 a new website, Healthcare for Internationals, was launched, wherein all relevant information can be found about Dutch health care and health insurance, in English!!! We are proud to work with H4i to make resources for international residents more accessible and encourage you to peruse the website at your leisure. We look forward to what they have in store for our Utrecht residents in 2019. 

Let our partners help you

The Utrecht Region works with a number of official partners to assist you in finding the right healthcare facilities and advice. Please be aware that some of these partners may charge a service fee. Rest assured, our partners all meet our minimum criteria, such as having all relevant company information available in English (including website, flyers, forms etc) and agreeing to cooperate in our client monitoring project. We regularly request feedback from internationals to assess the quality of our partners' services, with their identity remaining private when we share it with our partners. Adjustments will be made to our partner list as appropriate. 

Check out our Online Services Map to find healthcare facilities and service providers in the Utrecht Region.