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Understanding The Netherlands' Healthcare System

August 09, 2020
Are you better off in the Netherlands in terms of healthcare? That's what many people are questioning right about now. Since healthcare is a hot button issue in many countries nowadays, especially with the on-going pandemic, it has led many to think about which country has the best system in place. A system that people will benefit the most out of, not anybody else. And during such discussions, the Netherlands has popped up quite often. Does this country have the healthcare system many people are looking for? To answer that question, one must first understand the current system in place.

Understanding The Netherlands' Healthcare System


Some Basic Netherlands Healthcare Facts to Know

Before anything else, you should note that the Netherlands has a universal healthcare system, which means citizens and residents are mandated to get coverage. Some are even obligated to get private insurance as well. In fact, a whopping 99% of people in the country are already covered by either public or private health insurance. There are 93 hospitals in total in the country with 1,975 pharmacies, all equipped to ensure that all the people's health problems will be answered. In terms of cost, the average price one has to pay to go to the emergency room is €256.00 while the average cost of a doctor's visit is €47.00.


Are You Legally Required to Get Insurance Here?

Yes, you are. That is if you're a legal resident or an official citizen of the Netherlands. A universal healthcare system required all citizens and residents to get coverage, whether public or private. More often than not, many people go for the public option as private insurance tend to get pricey. Either way, getting public health coverage allows them to follow the mandate of the country's healthcare system. But what of the tourists? Are they legally required to get covered? Technically, no. However, there are ways in which tourists who visit the Netherlands can still get covered whilst they're in the country. 


Understanding The Netherlands' Healthcare System


Health Insurance Options for Tourists in The Netherlands

Citizens of fellow EU countries have their European Health Insurance Card to help them avail of the many health services offered in the Netherlands. This allows them to minimize the rates of various costs they'll have to face when availing such services. While for those from non-EU countries, they're encouraged to get travel insurance to help cover their medical costs whilst in the country. Most of the time, airlines offer their own packages that come with the purchase of the flight going to the country anyways. While international companies like Cignal Global and Allianz Care offer such for world travelers. 


Coverage of Basic Healthcare in The Netherlands 

Since the Netherlands operate on a universal healthcare system, most people are required to get the compulsory basic insurance offered by the government. These are state-funded and are therefore more affordable than the premium packages handed out by private insurance companies. But what do these basic insurance plans cover and contain? Since 2017, they've included basic GP visits, limited specialist care,  hospital care, dental care until the age of 18, maternity care for new and expecting mothers, medication, and therapy treatments. Not bad considering that in other countries, basic health coverage is still limited in terms of the services people could avail of. 


Understanding The Netherlands' Healthcare System


Average Healthcare Costs in The Netherlands

Not for the part many of you have probably been waiting for: the costs. Generally speaking, how much does one have to pay for various medical services in the Netherlands? Well, a basic insurance plan will only cast €100.00 usually, while private coverage tends to go much higher than that. A stay in the hospital costs €146.00 a night while an emergency room visit costs €256.00 every time you need to go there. In terms of visiting your doctor, doing so during regular hours costs €47.00 per visit. Meanwhile, if you do so outside of normal office hours, it will cost you €92.00 per visit. 


How to Find a GP in The Netherlands

Let's say you've finally gotten coverage in the Netherlands as a new resident or new citizen, the next step is usually finding a GP or personal/family doctor. But how does one do it? A good way to find one is to go to the Town Hall where you live. They always have a list of doctors in the areas. Before officially visiting the one you chose, you have to call beforehand or register online to see if they're accepting new patients. Be aware that some don't. And if you went for additional private insurance, usually, those private companies offer their own list of GPs as well. 


Understanding The Netherlands' Healthcare System


Healthcare is very important in the Netherlands. That's why they went with a universal system to ensure that each and every one of the people in the country are covered and can avail of the many trustworthy medical services offered here. 

If you yourself are covered here, you can use the extra money you save to invest in a luxurious Netherlands apartment as your new home here. You'll be much safer and healthier in one!