Everyone settled in The Netherlands, should be registered with a family doctor (general practitioner). In Dutch: huisarts. If you feel sick or have another health problem, this is the doctor you go to. If you need more specific help according to the doctor, he or she will provide a referral letter for you to go to a specialist.
The family doctor has a broad knowledge about health and diseases. You can go here for a lot of different problems like:
⇒ Any question about your health or the health of your family members
⇒ Physical problems (when you are sick or feel pain)
⇒ Mental problems (when you have unpleasant thoughts or feel depressed)
⇒ For strange humps or allergies
⇒ Blood research
⇒ Health check up
⇒ For care, support and guidance (for example with chronic diseases like diabetes or asthma)
⇒ Sexual health: for information and placement of contraceptives like an IUD (spiraaltje) or the pill
⇒ Questions about drugs and alcohol
When the family doctor cannot help you, they will send you to someone else. For life-threatening problems always call 112
If you do not feel well, something happened and you do not know if you have to go to the doctor you can go to this website: www.moetiknaardedokter.nl. Here you can download an app for your phone where you get answers to your question if you should go to the doctor or not.
How do I register with a Family Doctor?
You probably have registered with a family doctor with your VWN contact person. If you want to change your doctor, you can look for a family doctor near to your house through this link.
⇒ Fill in your postal code/address and you will find all of the family doctors in your neighbourhood.
⇒ Call them and ask if they have space for new patients.
⇒ It might be that the family doctor wants to make an appointment with you to get to know you. Then you can inform him or her about your medical history.
How do I book an Appointment?
⇒ Call the office or make an appointment online
⇒ The assistant will ask you for a general description of your question
⇒ You will get your appointment
⇒ Sometimes the assistant can inform or help you (for example a urine-test when you have a blather infection).
An appointment with a family doctor takes 10 minutes. This is short, so try to be really direct and factual in what your problems are and were. If you need more time to explain the problem, ask the doctors assistant for more time with the family doctor when you make the appointment. Then sometimes a double appointment can be possible.
Dutch doctors only prescribe medicines if the body cannot heal itself. Sometimes waiting for this is already a solution. Some simple medicines you can buy at the drug store/pharmacy yourself. Your doctor can advise you on it.
Opening Times & Weekends
Dutch family doctors are open on office times, mostly between 8.00 till 17.00. In the evenings, nights, holidays and weekends the family doctor is closed. If something happens during this time there is a central doctors post in Nijmegen. You can call them and ask for an appointment. Do this if your questions can not wait untill after the weekend.
⇒ The telephone number is: 0900-8880
⇒ Address: Weg door Jonkerbos 108, 6532 SZ Nijmegen (on the left side of the CWZ hospital)
In what Language can I speak to the Doctor?
All family doctors are able to speak English if you prefer that, of course you can always talk Dutch. If you are not able to tell your problem in Dutch or English to the family doctor, it is recommended to take your own translator with you. This can be a family member or friend that speaks Dutch or English.
Did you receive your temporary permit after January 1st 2016? Then your doctor can call a translator for you during the first six months.
Good to know ...
⇒ Family doctors are obliged to keep the information you gave them private, unless you agree on sharing the information
⇒ Some care-facilities have long waiting lists, it might take some time before you can make an appointment with them
Check always if you have to pay for prescribed medicines or advised treatments. In this case you will not be surprised by bills.