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Doctor & Health Insurance

Getting a general practitioner and (health) insurance are not the most interesting things to read up on. However, both are necessary and in some cases even mandatory when you are studying in the Netherlands. Did you know that in the Netherlands you have to go to your GP for medical advice before you can go to the hospital? And did you know that health insurance only covers costs when you have arranged your insurance prior to the development of any symptoms?

If you experience an acute medical emergency, you can call the national emergency number 112.

If you urgently need a doctor outside of office hours, you need to call the Doctors Service (“doktersdienst”). The phone number for the Doctors Service Groningen is: 0900-9229.

General Practitioner

In the Netherlands, your General Practitioner (GP) is the first point of contact for medical advice. You can only go to, for example, a psychologist or medical specialist at the hospital once you have been referred to them by your GP. By Dutch law, GPs can only accept a certain number of patients. If a practice has reached its maximum number of patients, it may not be able to accept you, and you will likely have to choose a different doctor.

One exception to this is located at Health Center Groningen (Gezondheidscentrum Groningen), where more and more healthcare providers are settling. This means you can go see your general practitioner, pharmacist, dietician, physiotherapist, psychologist and specialist from the hospital, all in the same building. Huisartsenpraktijk Radesingel is happy to offer services to international students.  In their building at Radesingel 6, they not only offer General Practice but also a physiotherapist, psychologist, dietician, a pharmacy dispensing point, and more.

General Practice Radesingel employs several male and female general practitioners. If you prefer a specific GP, please indicate this when scheduling the appointment. They strive to ensure that you can go to the same GP as much as possible. They offer primary care to the whole city of Groningen, but for home visits, it’s recommended to only register with them if you live not too far from the GP office. Especially in an emergency, it’s not desirable to live more than 15 minutes away.

You can also use websites such as Zorgkaart Nederland to find a general practitioner close to you. It is advised to register at a general practitioner as soon as possible.  The GP can also help you with everything you need regarding your health insurance since this can be a little complicated sometimes. The GP visits are always covered by Dutch health insurance. You can register for free at any GP practice. It is important to do this before any medical problems arise, so you can quickly receive help when you need it.

You can contact your general practitioner for all medical problems except for emergencies. They can treat the problem themselves if possible, or refer you to a specialist.
More information: How to find a General Practitoner

Health insurance
Having a good health insurance package is necessary and even mandatory when you are staying in the Netherlands on a residence permit with ‘study’ as your purpose of stay. The health insurance company will cover medical expenses like consultations with your general practitioner, psychological and specialized care, but also repatriation to your home country if that is necessary. It is important to get insured before you start suffering from medical problems, because only in this case will the policy cover your costs.

Get insured in a few simple steps:

ESN Groningen thinks its important that students are properly insured. Because of this, in collaboration with Swisscare we offer you the International Student Health Insurance Plan Europe.

During your studies abroad, this product covers medical emergencies in case of illness and accidents. A 24/7 assistance is included, as well as search & rescue, repatriation to the home country, and third party liability.

Who can apply?

The insurance is suitable for international students, interns, au pair’s, academics, researchers, and their family members (spouse, children) if the following applies:

  • All foreign students, interns, au pair’s, academics, researchers in the EU / EEA.
  • All EU / EEA resident students, interns, au pair’s, academics, researchers studying or training abroad excluding US Territories and Canada.

Get the 10% discount on your health insurance through this link