Medical aid for international students: how does it work when you need a doctor and where do you go.
It is common in the Netherlands to go a General Practitioner (GP) if you have physical or mental problems and also before you go to the hospital, especially in non-emergency situations.
How does this work, where can I find one and what else do I need to know?
What is a GP and when do you go to a GP?
You go to a General Practitioner (GP or family doctor) if you have physical or mental problems and also before you go to the hospital, especially in non-emergency situations. You can only consult a specialist, with a referral from a GP.
A GP-practice is often affiliated with several health services, e.g. physiotherapy or low-threshold psychological support by a practitioner.
We strongly recommend you to register with a GP shortly after arrival in Tilburg, because it makes scheduling an appointment often quicker and easier.
When do you go to a GP and when do you go somewhere else?
In the Netherlands, medical care sometimes works differently than you are used to. In the Netherlands, medication, e.g. antibiotics, is written out much less quickly. It is normal to wait and see if something is bothering you first, many ailments will pass by themselves. If you have a cold, it takes on average a week before the virus is eliminated, regardless of whether you are taking any medication.
You don't have to see a GP for that. But if you find it disturbing, you should of course just contact a GP.
For simple medical problems, you can often also visit a pharmacy or drugstore (e.g. Kruidvat, Trekpleister, DA, Etos), which are experts in self-medication and can provide information about it.
What to expect of a GP?
Consulting a GP
A GP can be consulted by appointments which can be made by phone or in person during consultation hours. Ten minutes are allowed per patient. It is possible to ask for a double appointment in advance if you feel that this will be necessary. House calls are kept to a minimum. The costs for a consultation are approximately € 35. You will have to pay this amount in cash, but you can claim the expenses back from your insurance company (depending on your insurance).
If you have (basic) Dutch health insurance, e.g. because you work here, then general practitioner care is always free of charge.
- Sometimes it is not always possible to make an appointment on the same day; in that case you will need to make an appointment at a later date.
- If you have made an appointment and you decide not to come, or you are not able to come, please cancel your appointment! Sometimes, you have to pay if you don't show up at an appointment and you did not cancel it of canceled it too late.
- Please do not call the emergency number unless there is a real emergency (a life threatening event).
- If you call outside office hours, you may be referred to another practitioner.
- You might be asked to pay for the consultancy. You can claim these expenses from your health insurance.
- Make sure your health insurance is in order!
- To consult a specialist you will need a referral from a general practitioner.
If you want to know more about the Dutch healthcare system, please check the website Healthcare in the Netherlands.
Medical services other than GP
If your GP has referred you to a therapist, and you don't live in Tilburg, you may use the website Find a therapist. If you are looking for help or therapy in your own language, there is a large (online) offer on this site worldwide, but not in the area of Tilburg.
Where can I find a GP?
Unfortunately, there is a huge shortage of general practitioners in our region.
In fact a lot of practices don't accept new patients anymore. If you live in the immediate neighbourhood and are looking for a new GP, you may be placed on the waiting list.
List of GP-practices in Tilburg
Please first read What is a GP and when do you go to a GP? and What to expect of a GP? above.
On this list you'll find a short overview on practices that seem to be open for new patients. This document is based on own insight to help students find the best care as soon as possible. The document therefore does not guarantee that these practices are indeed open for new patients.
For addresses of GP practices everywhere, see this overview - only in Dutch. You can filter on place, postal code and medical situation.
What to do if you urgently need a GP?
You can ask your own health insurer to mediate in finding a GP; after all, you pay a premium for it, and the insurer has an interest in keeping your medical complaints from getting out of hand.
When you can't find a GP, or your own GP is far away, you can visit a general practice as a passerby for emergency care once. This means that you can go for an emergency consultation without having a regular GP. So, this does not mean that you are registered with this general practice from then on. Not all GP's keep a record of passers-by, which can be inconvenient if your complaints persist, and you need further help or referral.
The GP or the assistant assesses whether there is non-regular and acute care. If this is the case, the care may not be refused. If there is none, you may be refused and advised to make an appointment with your own GP.
Does the GP treat you? Then he or she may charge a passerby fee. You often have to pay this bill immediately (usually by pin). You can send the bill to your health insurance company. Check with your health insurance company what conditions you must meet to receive reimbursement.
If you are insured with AON, you can contact the OSH clinic. on telephone number +31 182 715 839 or book an on line appointment. AON policyholders should enter coupon code OSHAON while booking an appointment. They do not have to pay anything and, as usual, they will be charged directly to AON. If you are not insured at AON, you have to pay, see fees on the OSH website.
You can access this online service with the following help questions:
1. "I need medical advice for a complaint but there is no GP nearby ...."
2. "I am taking medication, without a prescription from a doctor here I cannot get them at the pharmacy..."
3. "I feel down/somber and want to talk to someone..."
4. "I have an acute care problem and am not allowed to go to primary care without a doctor's referral..."
What can I do in case of an emergency outside office hours?
Off-campus: call 112.
Dutch police has released 112NL app for contact with emergency services. People in the Netherlands who cannot hear or speak well can now reach the 112 emergency control room via a smartphone app. The app is also suitable for people who do not master the Dutch or English languages. Download links: Google Play Store; Apple App Store
- On-campus: call +31 (0)13 - 466 2525.
- Telephone helpline for Tilburg University students who are experiencing personal, mental or emotional problems: call +31 (0)6 28771262, available on weekdays from 17:00 to 23:00 hrs and on Saturdays and Sundays from 08:00 to 23:00 hrs.
- If you are thinking about suicide and think you have no one to turn to, call 0800 - 0113 (free) or chat with 113 online (suicide prevention).
- You can contact the Listening Line day and night (anonymously and free of charge) for a conversation about anything that is bothering you: tel. 088 - 0767 000 or chat via the Listening Line.
- The emergency number of the crisis intervention team Tilburg is 0800 - 8013, available day and night for acute psychological emergency situations of someone around you (not if you are in an emergency situation yourself).
If there is no life-threatening situation, but you feel that a doctor should look into your medical complaints at short notice, you contact the Stichting Huisartsenposten Midden-Brabant, which consists of two emergency locations in the region of Midden-Brabant.
About 100 general practitioners work together to guarantee medical care at night, the weekend, and on official holidays. You can go to the emergency post for urgent general practitioner care, which cannot wait for the next consultation hour of your own general practitioner.
First of all, you must telephone: +31 (0)85 - 5360 300.
Please note: if you call the Huisartsen emergencypost ("spoedpost"), a nurse will first do a triage to determine if it is an emergency or not. If it's not, then you'll get some (self-help) advice (for example: just take a paracetamol or go to a doctor the next day). For this you will also receive a bill of at least €35!
Visiting address Huisartsenpost
- Lage Witsiebaan 2a, 5042 DA Tilburg