Most people in the Netherlands have their own GP. There may be one or several GPs in a GP practice. It is strongly recommended that you register with a GP in your area as soon as you are settled, even if you don’t need of a doctor right away.
Your own GP is familiar with your situation and keeps track of changes to your health. By having your own GP, you also know who you can turn to if you have health problems. And in the evening, at night or at the weekend, you can contact the out-of-hours service (huisartsenpost) if you have urgent questions.
When you register, please bring your ID with you and have your ‘citizen service number’ (burgerservicenummer or BSN) and your health insurance details (name and number) at hand. Some practices will allow you to register online. At your first visit, bring along any medical records you have from your home country and a list of any medications you are taking (if applicable).
If you move within the Netherlands, your previous GP will send your records directly to your new GP. This will only be done with your approval.
You are also advised to register with a pharmacy near to where you live. Your GP practice will then know where to send prescriptions.
Choose a GP yourself
In the Netherlands you are free to choose your own doctor. But in practice you might not be able to register with the GP of your choice. This could be because:
- That GP is not accepting new patients.
- You live too far away from that GP.
- You have different ideas about healthcare than the GP. For example, views on alternative therapies or euthanasia.
How do you find a GP?
At Kiesuwhuisarts.nl you can find addresses of GPs in your neighbourhood (arranged by postcode). You can also visit zorgkaartnederland.nl. Both websites are in Dutch. You can find a GP by entering your postcode in the search (zoek) box. If you are unable to find a GP, you can ask your health insurer to help you find one.
What can you do if you are refused?
If the GP of your choice refuses to register you as a patient without a good reason, you can contact your health insurer or the advocacy organisation for health care clients (Zorgbelangorganisatie) in your region. This organisation represents the interests of everyone who needs healthcare in your region. You can find the address on the website of Zorgbelang Nederland.