Every GP practice has a brochure or website with information about the practice. This includes the names of the GPs, assistants and practice nurses, the practice telephone phone numbers you can call for a consultation or an appointment, whether your GP offers e-consultations and opening hours.
In case of emergency, read here.
Making an appointment
Some practices have set times at which you can call the practice to make an appointment. There are also practices where you can make appointments online or by email.
Some practices have walk-in consultation hours, which you can visit for short questions about your symptoms or illness.
When you call the GP’s office to make an appointment, the GPs assistant will ask you questions in order to:
- determine how serious your situation is
- to check whether you need to see a GP or a practice nurse
- help you and the GP prepare for the appointment
- suggest alternatives for an in-person appointment at the GP practice, such as a consultation by telephone. Home visits are reserved for urgent cases and people who are not able to visit the GP practice for medical reasons.
Depending on your symptoms, the assistant will see if you can come the same day or a few days later. The GPs assistant is a medical professional and has a duty of confidentiality.
Contact by telephone
- Calling for advice.
You can always call the GP practice to discuss your situation and obtain advice. The GP assistant who answers the phone can often provide an explanation and advice. If you want to talk to the GP yourself, the assistant will have the GP call you back. Some practices have set times for this. These are called call-back hours (terugbelspreekuur).
- Telephone consultation hours.
Some GPs have telephone consultation hours. These are set times at which you can call the GP yourself to ask questions or discuss your situation.
- Prescription line.
GP practices often have a separate phone number or email address to request repeat prescriptions for medication. After the GP approves the prescription, it is sent to the pharmacy. You can then pick up the medication from the pharmacy at a later time.
An e-consultation (“e-consult”)
More and more GP practices are offering e-consultations. You can then ask the GP questions via a safe internet connection. The GP practice website will explain how to use an e-consultation to ask your question.
Not all health questions are suitable for the e-consultation!
Suitable topics/questions for an e-consultation are:
- questions about lifestyle
- questions about medication
- questions about tests and results
- questions about symptoms you visited the GP for previously
- check-ups and questions about chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure, asthma or diabetes
Do not use an e-consultation in the following cases:
- urgent questions
- questions about new symptoms
- questions for which a physical examination may be necessary
- emotional/psychological problems
Seeing the doctor
- Walk-in consultation hours.
Some practices have walk-in consultation hours. This means that you can visit the practice at certain times without making an appointment first. These consultation hours are for short, simple questions, such as a mark on your skin.
- Appointment with the GP.
A consultation with a GP will generally take 10 to 15 minutes and usually takes place during regular office hours. If you think you need more time with the doctor, because you have more than one medical issue, you can discuss this with the GP assistant. If necessary, he or she will schedule a 20 or 30-minute appointment
- Home visit.
If you are too ill to come to the practice, the GP will visit you at home. This is called a home visit. To request a home visit, you need to call the GP assistant.