Healthcare, Expat Centre Maastricht Region


The Ministerie van Volksgezondheid, Welzijn en Sport – VWS (Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport), feels that everyone resident in the Netherlands should be able to consult their huisarts (General Practitioner, family doctor), a hospital, or other care providers whenever necessary. Alongside health insurers, care providers and patient organisations, the VWS oversees healthcare services and ensures that residents are offered choices in their own care.

All residents in the Netherlands are obliged to take out a basic level of national health insurance within the first 4 months of arrival, regardless of whether they have existing health insurance from another country. Once a health insurance policy has been taken out the next step is to register with a GP in the local area.

In the Netherlands medications are prescribed more cautiously than most countries, especially for antibiotics. As a result, a GP might wait a bit longer when prescribing them. The reason for this is to decrease the risk of antibiotic-resistant infections.