Most GP’s will only register you as their patient, if you live in the service area of their practice. That is because your GP must be able to reach your home address within 15 minutes in emergencies. As soon as you know where you will be living, you need to register with a GP practice.
You may find a suitable practice by asking other internationals or by using websites like Zorgkaart or Kiesuwhuisarts. The websites are in Dutch but you can find a GP by entering your postal code into the search (zoek) box. You can also use translation tools to help you in the process.
Nearby GP’s (‘huisarts’ or ‘Huisartsenpraktijk’) will be listed on the page for you, most often with a link to their websites. However, not all practices will accept new patients, especially in the larger cities.
All GP’s have the same education and most speak English. Many will be happy to hold a free, introductory meeting with you, during which you can discuss your personal requirements before deciding whether to register.
Healthcare for internationals
In cities with many internationals there are practices that provide healthcare services tailored to the needs of the international community.
When you register
When registering you will need to provide proof of your identity, your BSN (‘Burger Service Nummer’- your personal identification number) and details of your health insurance (name and number). Some practices will allow you to register online. At your first visit bring along any medical records you have from your home country and, if applicable, a list of all medication that you are taking.
If you move within the Netherlands, your previous GP will, with your approval, send your records directly to your new GP.
You are also advised to register with a pharmacy near to where you live. Your doctor’s office will then know where to send prescriptions.