General practitioners and health centres

Finding a GP

Finding a General Practitioner (huisarts, GP or family doctor) should be a priority when you are settling down in your new city. Your GP is your link to the medical system, as they will be able to prescribe medicines and refer you to any specialist. There are hundreds of GP’s in The Hague. Be advised that the GP should be in the same postal code area of your house (distance should not be more than 1 km). You will need to register with your personal details and citizen service number (BSN).

The city of The Hague offers an online overview of general practitioners willing and able to offer their service to the international community. There even is a GP that focusses on students.

GP: your starting point for health care

The General Practitioner is almost always the first person to consult when facing health problems – they see a range of patients, from babies to pregnant women, adults and the elderly. The GP is familiar with a range of symptoms such as skin conditions, gynaecological problems, infections, psychological problems, airway problems, or problems with the heart, as well as headaches, stomach-aches and sexual complaints.

General Practitioners can perform a number of tests themselves and can request a wide range of other tests, such as STD tests, pap smears, blood work, ECGs and X-rays. In the majority of cases the GP will treat the complaint directly, either by giving advice or prescribing medication. The GP also does minor surgery, such as treating wounds or doing sutures, and the placement of Intrauterine Devices (IUDs).

If the GP is not able to do the diagnoses or treatment, you will be referred to a specialist in the hospital.

You can collect prescriptive medicine at the pharmacy (apotheek). If you have medical insurance you can often claim back expenses.

Read more about the Dutch health care system