Dutch health care

Internationals moving to The Hague will be happy to learn that Dutch health care is among the very best in the world, although it may take some time getting used to it.

Health care is funded through taxes and mandatory health insurance fees so it is an accessible social service. The Dutch health care system is based on egalitarianism: everyone receives the same type and quality of treatment regardless of social status, gender and income.

Basic health Insurance

Health care is a social right for people who reside in the Netherlands and the key to the system is the Basic Health Insurance, a mandatory population-wide scheme. The coverage of this standard package is determined by the government and includes medical care by specialists, GPs and midwives, hospital care, medication, rehabilitation, dental care for young people, mental health care and medical assistance during a trip abroad. Health insurance companies are obliged to accept everyone for the basic health insurance. They also offer additional premium plans covering things such as physiotherapy, spectacles, dental care and alternative medicine.

Once insured you need to register with a huisarts, or General Practitioner (GP). Your GP is a trusted gatekeeper to the Dutch health care system. You always consult your GP first with any medical questions or problems. He can then refer you to a medical specialist when needed.

Juvenile health care

Children aged 0 to 18 years are given free juvenile health care by baby health clinics and juvenile health care centres, which are part of the public health department (GGD). A free-of-charge, government-run vaccination programme targets all children in the Netherlands. In case of illnesses children should visit their GP, rather than a paediatrician. More information is available on the website of the Centre for Children and Families (CJG).

More information

Also see Health care

Published: 9 April 2013Modified: 4 May 2020