By exchanging knowledge, skills and concepts, healthcare providers in H4i can innovate healthcare delivery to internationals and create added value against minimal addtional costs and risks.
Healthcare for internationals considers it essential that everyone in the Netherlands should feel safe with his or her doctor. Research* has shown, however, that a large part of the 800.000 people from an international background, living and working in the Netherlands, don’t feel comfortable with Dutch Healthcare. Confidence in doctors is very low; only 32% trusts the judgement of their doctor, compared to 85% amongst the Dutch.
This causes internationals to feel unsafe or even anxious. This results in many finding themselves ill at home in the Netherlands, impeding social and economic integration.
Lack of trust is caused by the expectations people have when they come to the Netherlands. They are used to other health systems that allow, for instance, direct access to medical specialists or where antibiotics or diagnostic tests are more readily prescribed. In addition there may be differences in culture and in most cases a language barrier. Simply explaining that Dutch healthcare is amongst the best in the world does not automatically build confidence and often even is counterproductive.
Research, as well as the project at SGE International have shown that confidence of internationals increases, if caregivers take the time to better understand the needs and expectations of their international patient. This strenghtens the patient-doctor relationship as well and therefor the results of treatment. Also investments in accessibility, hospitality and specific communications skills have proven effective.
*You can download a summary of this research here: