For live threatening situations:


Dial 112 to contact an ambulance, fire department or police.

Family doctor or General Practitioners (GP’s)

The first point of contact in getting healthcare in the Netherlands is via a family doctor or General Practitioner (GP). He/she will help you or refer you to a specialist when needed.

NOTE: It is therefore important to register with a family doctor (‘huisarts’ in Dutch) or GP soon after arriving in the Netherlands. If you have not registered with a GP and you then become ill, you may have difficulty finding a nearby doctor who is taking patients, as their practice may already be full. Read more about what you need to do to arrange for healthcare.
In case of emergency call 112

How to find a doctor
To search for a local doctor, go to the or This website is in Dutch, but is easy to navigate through, simply enter your postal code and tick the box what you’re looking for (doctor, dentist, pharmacy).

Your GP may wish to have a consultation appointment with you to go over your medical history. This is a good opportunity to have any questions about healthcare in the Netherlands answered. More about finding and registering with a GP.
Keep in mind that it will be a challenge to find a GP on short notice, as a lot of the clinics are full and don’t take any (Dutch of foreign) new patients. The GP however has a duty to give you medical assistance when needed. So even when you’re not registered, you can still get medical assistance.

Making appointments with a GP
You can call your GP directly to make an appointment, or go to the spreekuur (consultation hour) of your clinic, usually early in the morning, where you can often speak to your doctor without an appointment.

Emergencies after working hours or weekends
In case you really need to speak to a doctor after working hours, in the weekend and when it can’t wait until the next day, you need to call the ‘‘Spoedzorg Huisartsen Twente’. Please do not go to the hospital emergency if it is not a matter of life or death, because this will not be covered by the health insurance.

Making appointments with a specialist

If you wish to see a specialist, you will need a referral from a general practitioner; he/she is always your first point of call.

Once you have a referral, you can make an appointment with the specialist directly. If you know the specialist you wish to see, you may request a referral to that person. Read more about medical specialists and hospitals.

Dentists & Dental care in the Netherlands

Dentistry is privatised in the Netherlands and not covered by basic insurance policies (except for children under 18 and specialist dental care, such as surgery).

Finding a dentist or can help you to find a dentist . Be prepared that clinics are full and it may be difficult to find one taking on new patients, so be prepared to call around.

Dental care costs
Other dental care can only be insured by taking out “extras” for your policy. Depending on your health insurance, this could cover up to 75 % of the costs.
Dentists list their prices on their website and insurance companies have comparing lists of how much they will cover for each service, allowing people to choose their own level of care and expenditure.

Specialist services

Dental surgeons are usually affiliated with a hospital, while orthodontists work in private practice. In order to visit one of these (or another type, such as a children’s dentist) you will need a referral from a regular dentist.
For dental hygiene practices you don’t need a referral to visit.

Read more about Dutch Healthcare: Giving birth, mental healthcare, preventive healthcare