Once arrived in the Netherlands, you may have felt surprised or even concerned by Dutch healthcare. Many internationals do, as it differs considerably from what they are used to.
The central role of the ‘huisarts’ (GP) is often unknown as is their reserve in prescribing medication and doing tests. In case of minor illnesses, it is generally advised to wait and see, while you may expect to see immediate action before it gets worse.
Dutch employers generally don’t make a fuss if you call in sick, while it may seriously harm your career in your home country. No wonder that most internationals are not reassured when the doctor says: “Take a paracetamol, rest and stay home until you feel better”.
How to prepare
In The Netherlands, illness is mostly looked upon as a part of life and something just to be endured. The body in many cases will take care of it by itself with some guidance and advice. Of course, when this is evidently not the case, doctors will intervene.
Knowing all this, does not mean that you will automatically feel at ease in Dutch healthcare. Read more about Dutch healthcare as well as how it may differ and what you could do to prepare yourself.
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