Are there any vaccinations I should get or other health precautions to take as I prepare for my move to your city?
Vaccinations are not required. However, it is a good idea to bring along files showing the medical history of all family members.
Before I get sick, what should I know about seeking medical care in your city as an expat?
Health care in the Netherlands is funded by a number of insurance schemes. Taxable income, wages, pension and benefits are taken into account when assessing earnings.
Your contributions will be deducted from your salary and added to your employer's contribution. This "ziekenfondsverzekering" covers most expenses for basic health care. However, you will find that you will have to pay for some things.
If you make over EUR 30,700 a year, you are not covered under the Health Insurance Act and therefore cannot contribute to a health insurance fund. Instead, you have to take out private insurance to cover medical treatment.
What is the word for "doctor" in the local language?
The Dutch word for family doctor or GP is huisarts, which literally translates into “house doctor”. The general word for doctor is dokter or arts.
What is the best way to locate a suitable health care provider?
If you have any medical questions or need help, you should call your huisarts first. If your huisarts thinks you need more specialized expertise, he or she will refer you to a specialist. Huisarts can also recommend medication and provide prescriptions.
The best place to start looking for a huisarts is in your neighborhood. At the City Hall, you can ask for a "gemeentegids." This is a booklet issued by your municipality containing information on just about everything relevant to Amsterdam, such as local huisartsen, sport, schools, lawyers, day care, churches, etc.
Of course, you can also simply ask those living in your neighborhood or other expats about which doctor they go to. Or you can check the phone book under "huisartsen.”
Do expats in the area tend to leave the city/area/country to seek medical care? If so, why and where do they go?
No, medical care in the Netherlands is very good and accessible. There are numerous huisartsen in every neighborhood and Rotterdam has about eight hospitals, including a children's hospital and an eye hospital.
Many expats take great consolation in the fact that medical care in the Netherlands is in a league with the best of the world. Not only that, but (almost) all doctors speak English, which is also very reassuring.
What is the number to call to summon help in an emergency? List medical/fire/police.
For all emergencies, no matter if you need the police, an ambulance or the fire brigade, you should dial 112.
- Ambulance: 010 215 0035
- Fire brigade headquarters: 010 446 8900
- Police – non-emergency: 0800 8844
For minor medical emergencies or if your huisarts is not available, call the doctor line: 010 420 11 00
For minor dental emergencies or if your dentist is not available, call the dentist line: 010 455 21 55
Emergency help in case of accidents can be supplied by every hospital. Assistance is available 24 hours a day. For other matters, you cannot go to the hospital on your own initiative. If treatment in a hospital is necessary, you will be referred by you family doctor.
Animal rescue service: 010 415 5666
What do I do if there's an emergency in the middle of the night—or at another time when my normal doctor/clinic is unavailable?
If you have a medical emergency that requires first aid, you can go straight to the EHBO (First Aid) for assistance. In the case of other types of emergencies, dial 112.
How will I recognize a pharmacy? What is it called in the local language?
An apotheek (pharmacy/chemist) dispenses drugs on prescription from your family doctor or dentist, while drogists (drugstores) are limited to a wide range of over-the-counter, non-prescription medicines. Most pharmacies are open Monday to Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., with at least one pharmacy on call in each neighborhood on weekends and evenings. You will recognize a pharmacy by its sign with a snake.
Is the water safe to drink?
Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.