In case of emergency – ambulance – fire – police – dial 112
Tourist and Resident Medical Services
A visitor to the Netherlands faces no special health risks, as the overall health conditions are excellent. No special inoculations are required. Any necessary immunization is available locally. Although Dutch law is strict about commercial processing, cooking, handling, and serving of foods, consumers are advised to show caution when using eggs and preparing poultry, as salmonella bacteria has been found in these products. Tap water is of excellent quality and safe to drink.
Dutch medical care is of high quality and is comparable to the medical care throughout Western Europe. Diagnostic laboratories and specialists in all fields of medicine are available. Hospitals are well-equipped. Maternity hospitals and other clinics are available. Most doctors and dentists speak English.
Most medicines are available locally. They may not, however, be the same brand names as those used in the United States and prices are generally higher. Tourists should bring a supply of their necessary medicine and provide proper documentation while traveling.
American tourists are reminded medical services aren’t provided free of charge, as the Dutch National Health Service does not cover visitors to the Netherlands. It is therefore recommended to obtain an estimate of the cost involved before receiving services.
If you are staying in a hotel, contact the reception desk and you will be directed to the doctor or dentist assigned to that hotel. If you are staying with a friend or with family, you are advised to contact their family doctor or dentist.
If your situation warrants it you should seek assistance from a hospital. They are staffed and equipped to deal with emergencies.
Emergency services (including transportation by ambulance) are not free and you will be billed for any services rendered to you.
Non emergency medical assistance
You are obliged to register with a general practitioner (huisarts) before attempting to obtain non-emergency medical treatment from a specialist. Your health insurance company in the Netherlands can provide you with a list of doctors and/or dentists in your postcode area. You can also consult the Dutch Yellow Pages under “huisartsen” and the following website huisarts.nl for further information.
Medical care in the Netherlands is based on a referral system which requires patients to see a local “huisarts” (general practitioner) first. Medical specialists will generally only see patients who have been referred by a general practitioner.
For more information on the Dutch Health Care Insurance system please see the Dutch Government website.
In the Netherlands, dental care is provided by qualified dentists, who are government-registered. The quality of the care provided, compared to other countries, is excellent. You may find this website useful to find a dentist in your region through entering your city or postcode: www.tandarts.nl or https://dental365.nl/emergency-dentist/ (in English)
For an overview of local health insurance companies and an explanation of Dutch terms and the Dutch health insurance system, click here.
Expat organizations such as Expatica also provide useful information on health matters in the Netherlands.
Air Ambulances firms capable of providing medical evacuations in the Netherlands: