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There are many excellent hospitals (ziekenhuizen) with high standards of care. Each hospital offers a range of specialties, but many are becoming more specialized. In Groningen, be aware that the UMCG is a medical teaching hospital, so the possibility of internists or students attending your appointment exists.
Unless it’s an emergency, you will need a referral letter from your family doctor to go to the hospital in non-emergencies, which is normally mailed to your home. On a form, you will be asked to provide details about your medical history and lifestyle, which will be registered in the hospital database. Be sure to bring this form with you on your first hospital visit.
Upon your first visit to the hospital, you must register with the patient registration desk or hospital administration (patienten administratie). Your insurance information is taken, and you will receive a plastic ID card (ponskaartje). Bring this ID card with you to all future visits.
If you are admitted as an in-patient, you may find yourself in a shared room or ward of up to six beds (mixed gender). You will probably have a TV and phone line, but there will be a charge. Internet access is also possible at a charge. Bring your own clothes and toiletries. Visiting hours vary from hospital to hospital.