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Dutch Healthcare system

The Netherlands has a good quality healthcare system. The role of the family doctor or general practitioner (huisarts) is central. For many newcomers, this is the most important difference between the Dutch medical system and that of their home country.

Annual check-ups are not part of the basic system, and tests are not done automatically. These extra services are only provided if there is evidence that they are necessary. Private clinics offer such services, but these are not covered by Dutch insurers.

Dutch healthcare is generally non-interventionist in nature, so don’t expect to leave the consultation with a prescription. Dutch doctors tend not to hand out antibiotics or anti-depressants lightly.

In addition, the Healthcare for Internationals website maintains extensive information on the healthcare system in the Netherlands and has also produced a brochure which is available here.