Healthcare in the Netherlands, like every different country, is pretty unique. In order to have a good grasp of how the healthcare system works in the Netherlands, you have to dive deep into the field and do a little bit of research. To make things a little bit easier for you, we have assembled this article with basic information about how hospitals work in the Netherlands.

There are 3 types of hospitals in the Netherlands:

  • General: Standard hospitals that offer general healthcare. They might refer you to more specialized hospitals if necessary.

  • Academic: Hospitals associated with major Dutch universities, usually offer more specialized care

  • Teaching: Similar to academic hospitals, they offer more specialized help and offer training for medical students and interns.

Going to the hospital


If you require immediate medical attention, you can call 112. Dialing this number will direct you to the emergency services that will forward you to the appropriate department depending on your emergency: Police, fire department, ambulance.

The basic Dutch healthcare insurance usually covers the costs related to the emergency and the ambulance that will offer first aid and transportation to the hospital etc. However, if you do not have an insurance, you will have to take care of these costs yourself.


If your case is non-life threatening, you can wait to book an appointment with your GP at the earliest convenience or the “Huisartsen post” which is a GP office that works irregular hours. The GP will then assess the situation and see if it is necessary for you to visit the hospital.
Once you are referred and you turn up at the hospital for the first time, go to the desk and register with them. They will need all your personal details and your GP’s name and address. You will be given a little plastic folder with all your information — you will need to take this with you every single time you go.

Hospital stay

In the Netherlands, you will usually stay only the time that you will need and not more. This means that if the doctor deems you are fit enough to leave the hospital the same day of the surgery then you will have to do so.
In most cases, the patient is in charge of transportation from the hospital to their home. Taxi services are widespread, so it’s worth asking your insurance company whether they’ll cover the cost of your post-discharge taxi travel home. However, there are instances where a doctor indicates that a patient should be sent home by ambulance instead. This transportation must be organized by the hospital.

Children hospitals

There are children’s wards in every hospital, and there are also specialized children’s hospitals that offer extra amenities to keep kids occupied while they’re in the hospital or assist them with schoolwork while they’re there. Some of these hospitals can accommodate parents that would like the stay with their children overnight. Children’s hospitals usually very strict visit hours so please make sure to check the hospital’s policies before visiting.

Hospitals across the Netherlands

CityGeneral HospitalsTeaching HospitalsAcademic Hospitals
AmsterdamAmsterdam UMC
Amsterdam UMC, locatie VUmc
BovenIJ ziekenhuis
OLVGAcademisch Medisch Centrum
VU medisch centrum
Ikazia Ziekenhuis
Maasstad Ziekenhuis
Het Oogziekenhuis
Sint Franciscus Gasthuis
Erasmus MC
St. Antonius Ziekenhuis
UMC Utrecht
The HagueHagaZiekenhuis
HMC Westeinde
HMC Bronovo
HMC Antoniushove
EindhovenCatharina Ziekenhuis
Maxima MC
St. Anna Ziekenhuis
GroningenMartini ZiekenhuisUMC Groningen
BredaJeroen Bosch Ziekenhuis
DelftReinier de Graaf Gasthuis
LeidenAlrijne ZiekenhuisLeiden UMC
MaastrichtMaastricht UMC
TilburgElisabeth-TweeSteden Ziekenhuis