Healthcare in the Netherlands



how does the healthcare system work in the Netherlands ? Is it efficient ?

What are the main differences between public and private sectors?

Is it recommended to purchase private health insurance in the Netherlands?

Thanks in advance for sharing your experience !

Answer ( 1 )


    Okay, I’ll try to give this a shot. It’s been a while since I got doctored at though, so please accept my apologies if I get some of this stuff hilariously wrong.

    – The healthcare system is structured to provide tiered access to medical services. If you’re feeling ill, you can pay a visit to your friendly local General Practitioner (Huisarts). They will hopefully after some prodding, poking, and saying aaaah, diagnose you and tell you what to do next. Usually this means writing out a receipt you can take to a pharmacy to hook you up with

    medication of some kind, or an introduction to a medical specialist experienced with your particular illness. If the huisarts cannot determine what ails you, they can send you to a hospital for access to more advanced diagnostic equipment. This cycle of either diagnosing an ailment and sending you off for treatment, or passing you up to the next tier continues up to the university hospitals where they can throw lots of science and expensive machines at you.

    Not sure what you mean by efficient. Most patients and treatments do not escalate beyond the huisarts/pharmacy level, so pretty efficient, I guess? There is sometimes a waiting list for non-critical surgical procedures since the universities cannot teach enough students because studying medicine takes forever and ever and ever. You will be an old man before you finish the study, even if you’re a woman. :(

    – Unlike regular healthcare system described above, the public health sector does not usually get involved with individual patients. They are tasked with monitoring and improving the well-being of society as a whole, or large groups of people. They keep track of infectious diseases, monitor air pollution levels, give out vaccinations, stuff like that. If they are ever interested in you as more than a statistic you may be Patient Zero, so try to avoid that. :P

    – Considering it is illegal not to have health insurance, I would recommend buying some. If you are too broke to pay for it, contact the Tax Office and they’ll send you money to pay for it depending on your income. I think you may be able to get around it if you’re only here to study for a while, but you should ask your school just in case. If you live here illegally the state will pay for your healthcare with my taxes, so please don’t get sick. :)

    Sorry about the wall of text. My english isn’t very good. Hope you enjoy your stay!

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