One of the first steps you have to take when you get to the Netherlands is registering with a nearby general practitioner. The reason for this is because when you get ill, the GP is your first point of contact. If you are not registered with a GP you might find difficulty making an appointment with one because all of them are most of the time fully booked. Another issue you might face is the fact the general practitioners do not accept new patients because the practice is full.
When it comes to healthcare in the Netherlands, the GP plays a crucial role. Your GP should be the first person you contact if you have any concerns about your physical or mental health.
A GP in the Netherlands can undertake minor surgical operations and conduct pediatric and gynecological checkups in addition to answering any health issues you may have. In most cases, a general practitioner does not provide dental care.
Finding a nearby practice physician
You can find a nearby GP practice several ways. One way is to use google maps and type “huisarts” and it will show you all the nearby general practitioners in your area. With this method you can have easy access to the doctor’s website and their information so you can call them directly from your phone and try to book an appointment or register.
Another method is to use the Zorgkaartnederland. With this method you can find all the general practitioners in the area that might not show up on google maps. In addition to this method you can visit the city hall to have a leaflet with all the general practitioners located When trying to register at the closest physician’s practice, you might find difficulties because they might not accept new customers. In that case you have to keep calling until you find one. It might happen that your physician will be located a little far away but keep in mind that you can change physicians whenever you want. Therefore, you can call the physicians closest to you sporadically until you can find a spot since customers sometimes move cities or locations and change practitioners.
After finding a Physician, you will have to provide you BSN number and health insurance details to them in order to keep track with your health history and add entries to it. Having a BSN number is compulsory because if you get referred to a hospital or change practitioners they will be able to see your medical records and medications you are of have used before.
Each general practitioner have their own working hours, but it is generally between 08:00 and 17:00. GP’s take holidays as well and might close their practices for days or even weeks. However when this happens, they would leave a note on the automatic responder in which they would explain that their unavailable for a certain period of time, and sometimes they would refer you to another partner GP.
After working hours and you have an emergency that cannot wait until the next day, you can call the local “Huisartsen post” which is basically a GP working irregular hours, which will hear your concerns and will either ask you to come to the practice or direct you towards the hospital. If the situation is not dangerous they would ask you to wait until the following day and head to your GP.