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Guide to The Hague - Health & Safety

The health care in the Netherlands is good and the hospitals use the latest technology, although waiting lists are sometimes long.
Regular check-ups for babies and children are provided by the state and there is an insurance plan for everyone.
The basic system begins with verzekering , or insurance; often provided through an employer.
Once insured, a huisarts , or GP, is chosen as a family doctor. Your huisarts is your first point of contact for any and all illnesses, excepting emergencies, and your huisarts will direct you to specialists as needed.
Children are given basic care and vaccinations via the Consultatiebureau (under 4 years of age) or the jeugdarts (4-18 years of age), but in case of illnesses they should visit their huisarts.

Pharmacy/Apothecary (Apotheek)

The Apotheek (Chemist) is where one obtains prescribed drugs etc. You can also buy non-prescription items there such as cough syrup, vitamins, pain relievers and homeopathic medicines. Note: some of these items can also be purchased at the drogist, which is equivalent to a Drug store, and often they are slightly less expensive. There are some items, which are only available on prescription in Holland, but are readily available through the chemist in your base country.

Recept is the Dutch word for prescription. A doctor must issue this. He may ask which Apotheek you would like to collect it from and contact it on your behalf. It can be to your advantage to use the same Apotheek for all your prescriptions.

Employees at the Apotheek are trained professionals and can answer some of your questions about the drugs you are getting and about minor ailments. Opening hours are usually between 8:00-17:30. If you need a prescription after hours or at the weekend there is usually an on-call Apotheek Tel: 070 3451000. This is usually posted in the window of your local Apotheek and also listed in the local newspaper under Medische Diensten (Medical Assistance). This is also where you will find a listing of doctors/dentists after hours or at the weekend, under the ‘on call’ Doctor, Pharmacy and Dentist. Also the numbers for the local Hospitals and Ambulance will be listed.

A list of Medical terminology

Huisarts: Family Doctor Tandarts: Dentist
EHBO: First Aid for Accidents Apotheek: Pharmacy
Recept: Prescription Spoedgevallen: Emergencies
Medische Diensten: On-call services Verwijs Brief: Doctors referral note
Particulier Verzekering: Private insurance Ziekenfonds: National Health Care


Although there are no immunizations required for entry to The Netherlands, the common vaccinations are available.
DKTP: Diptheria, Whooping Cough, Tetanus and Poliomyelitis
DTP: as above without the whooping cough
BMR: Measles, mumps and rubella
Hib: Haemophilus influenzae type B
BCG: Tuberculosis

For children the schedule is as follows:

• 3 months 1st DKTP vaccination + Hib 1
• 4 months 1st DKTP vaccination + Hib 2
• 5 months 1st DKTP vaccination + Hib 3
• 11 months 1st DKTP vaccination + Hib 4
• 14 months 1st BMR vaccination
• 4 years 5th DTP vaccination
• 9 years 6th DTP vaccination + 2nd BMR
A vaccination record (bewijs van vaccinatie) will come through the mail.

Common Problems

The Huisarts (Family Doctor/General Practitioner will be your link to other medical services. To see a specialist you must get a referral from your GP if you want your expenses paid. Most doctors speak English very well. All Shell expatriate newcomers to The Hague are entitled to a visit from ‘Settle Services’ (see 3.4.2.), a relocation service under contract to Shell. They provide you with the name and address of a doctor and dentist in your transit flat area and permanent accommodation. The Huisarts is the focal point for referrals (verwijsbrieven) to services like Hospitals, specialist care, Physiotherapy etc.
Most practices close at 16.00 hrs and don’t open on Saturdays. To make an appointment with your doctor, call the receptionist. However, for minor ailments many doctors have an inloop spreekuur (walk in consulting hour) usually between 8:00 –9:00 hrs where you can walk in on a first-come-first-served basis. Many doctors also have a telefonische spreekuur (telephone consulting hour), for repeat prescriptions or simple questions.
In The Hague, you can also ring SMASH (Stichting Mobiele Huisartsen Service) on 070 346 9669 (from 5 pm to 8 am) for medical advice or information.
If you need help finding a GP, you can call the Hague Practitioners Association on 312 9829 between 6:00 and 1:00 on weekdays. If you need interim attention while waiting to register, you can call 0900 8600 for a GP in your neighborhood and ask if you can receive treatment as a passer by or passant

First aid and Emergencies (Spoedgevallen)

The emergency phone number is 112, used for fire, Police and Ambulance. The Hospital Emergency Room is called EHBO (eerste hulp bij ongevallen) / first aid for accidents. You can go to the First Aid point in the nearest hospital to receive immediate attention for an accident, without making an appointment. Take your insurance card for the hospital records.
They will bill you after your treatment and this amount can be reclaimed from your insurance company.

Clinic and/or Children’s Hospital

The Hague

Juliana Kinderziekenhuis
(Children Hospital)
Sportlaan 600
2506 LP The Hague
Tel: 070 3127200
Fax: 070 312 6161
Rode Kruis Ziekenhuis
Sportlaan 600
2506 LP The Hague
Tel: 070 312 6200
Fax: 070 3126126
Strijpkade 34
2548 AG The Hague
Tel: 070 3590500
Fax: 070 3210544
Bronovo Ziekenhuis
Bronovolaan 5
2597 AX The Hague
Tel: 070 3124141
Fax: 070 3124425
MCH Westeinde
Lijnbaan 32
Postbus 432
2501 CK The Hague
Tel: 070 3302000
Fax: 070 3809459
MCH Antoniushove
Burgemeester Banninglaan 1
Postbus 411
2260 AK Leidschendam
Tel:.070 3574444
Fax: 070 3574115


Academisch ZKS Vrije Universiteit
De Boelelaan 1117
1081 HV Amsterdam
Tel: 020 444 4444
Fax: 020 444 4645
Onze Lieve Vrouwe Gasthuis
Eerste Oosterparkstraat 279
1091 HA Amsterdam
Tel: 020 5999111
Fax: 020 5992299
Academisch Medisch Centrum
Meibergdreef 9
1105 AZ Amsterdam Zuidoost
Tel:020 566 9111
Fax:020 5664440
Sint Lucas Andreas Ziekenhuis
Jan Toorostraat 164
1061 AE Amsterdam
Tel:020 5108911
Fax:020 5108168
Bovenij Ziekenhuis
Statenjachtstraat 1
1034 CS Amsterdam
Tel: 020 6346346
Slovervaart Ziekenhuis
Louweswg 6
1066 EC Amsterdam
Tel: 020 5129333
Leids Universitair Medisch Centrum
Albinusdreef 2
2333 ZA Leiden
Tel: 071 5269111
Fax: 071 5248111
MFF Franken, MD ORL
Fonteynenburghlaan 5
2270 AZ Voorburg
Tel: 070 3401375
Fax: 070 3996032


Medical Insurance

With effect from 1st January 2006, each individual in The Netherlands is required to obtain a Basis Policy. Following the changes, Shell has taken out Basis policies for expatriate employees on full EBAS terms, and their families, with ZKA (Zilveren Kruis / Achmea), to meet the requirements of the new Dutch law. At the same time, the employee and family members had been registered in GEMS (Global Expatriate Medical Scheme), administered by BUPA. These Basis policies are intended to be dormant, with the costs covered, on the employee behalf, by Shell. If the employee (or any family member) wish to claim benefits under Basis, it is necessary to activate the policy on personal account. Supplementary dental insurance cover can be taken out, for the employee’s own account, with another insurer, such as Kroller.

For any specific questions about:
• Basis and ZKA top up policies, please contact ZKA on +31 71 364 0488
• GEMS, please contact BUPA International team on + 44 1273 718383 or by email on shell@bupa-intl.com
• Kroller dental insurance, please send an email to expats@kroller.nl.
• Other questions, please send an email to mailto:Central HR SPS Expatriate Medical Insurance SI-HRI


Gynaecology and paediatrics

Doctors in The Netherlands do not generally set up private practices for patients to choose whom they wish to be attended by. The GP must be consulted prior to visiting a specialist. With his/her consent a patient is then forwarded to a gynaecologist or a paediatrician (Kinderarts), for example. For the insurer to cover your expenses they will need to see the referral note.

Having a baby in The Netherlands

The Netherlands strongly favours home births, natural childbirth (no pain relief) and the use of a midwife. In all regions of The Netherlands, midwives are able to speak in both Dutch and some English, attempt to answer questions and offer support. However, it is recommended you state clearly and firmly from the beginning your desires regarding pain medication and pregnancy care - and you stick to your wishes. Inform your medical practitioners that you are from a different country and want your own form of care, whether it is a pill, epidural or perhaps a caesarean section.

One thing that everyone loves in The Netherlands is the Aftercare Programme, or ‘kraamzorg’. Once mother and baby have arrived home there is a period of five to seven days that a ‘kraamverzorgster’(postnatal care nurse) will come over and help with everything, including feeding, changing, child minding, cooking and even cleaning.

Be aware: Register as early as possible! Kraamzorg must be requested at the beginning of your pregnancy. In some cases the insurance, or verzekering, will determine which kraamzorg organisation you can register with. Sometimes you can choose your own.

Once your baby is born you need to comply with Dutch law and register the birth at your local town hall (gemeentehuis). You have three working days from the birth to accomplish this task. You may choose to have a nurse register your child or accompany you/your partner to help with the process.

You will need:
• Passports of both parents
• Birth certificate issued by the attending midwife or hospital
• Marriage certificate (if applicable) if both parents are not registered in this country
• Residence cards
• If unmarried, a letter of attention needs to be written by the mother (declaring the identity of the father) and the couple needs to bring this and their Identification (passport and residence cards) to the local Stadsdeelkantoor /City Hall before the birth of the baby.

If you want to ensure your child has a record of your nationality as well, contact your local embassy to see what steps you must take. It is a good idea to purchase two International Birth Certificates when you register your child with the local city hall so that you have them for nationality papers or passport requirements for your home country as well. Don't forget this type of paperwork is necessary to travel outside of the Netherlands. So, don't put this step off. In addition, some countries have deadlines from the time of birth to complete the necessary paperwork.

You will also need to register your child with the Aliens Police (Vreemdelingen Politie). Take an original international birth certificate and passport, if you have one, to the appointment.

Child Benefit

The Dutch government provides an allowance (Kinderbijslag) to assist in the financial costs of raising a child. You must apply for the allowance and can receive an information packet in English from your local post office or contact the head office of the Sociale Verzekeringsbank in your area.
When you apply for Child Benefit (Kinderbijslag), you will be asked to send the list of vaccinations for each of your children living with you to SVB (Sociale Verzekeringsbank). They will then send you a notice every time your child is due for vaccination. You also have to register your child with a Consultati Bureau where your child has regular check ups and vaccinations. Settle Services can provide you with a list in your neighborhood.


Choosing a dentist (Tandarts) is very much like choosing your doctor. Settle Services will assist. You can also look under Tandartsen in the yellow pages or in the online KPN phone gids, where you will also find a 24-hour dentist emergency service Algemene Tandartsen Spoedgevallen. Dental care is expensive and you can get a written estimate for recommended treatment.


Physiotherapy is readily available. Again a referral note is necessary from your doctor for insurance purposes.

Shell Health Services

Please note that Shell Health Services in The Hague provides occupational health services including First Aid to Central Office staff. They also provide medical examinations, vaccinations and health advice in case of business travel and transfer. Generally speaking, they do not provide GP type medical services to staff or dependants but are happy to assist in special circumstances. You can contact them on Tel 070 377 6113.


In terms of traveller insurance for residents travelling outside the EU, The Netherlands has reciprocal health agreements with Cape Verde, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey and Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro). Security issues within The Netherlands are only those associated with any European country.

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  Guide to The Hague  
  •General Information  
  The Move & Arrival  
  Relocation Information  
  Schools & Education  
  Health & Safety  
Pharmacy & Prophylaxis
Common Problems
First aid & Emergencies
Clinic/Children's Hospital
Medical Insurance
Child benefit
Shell Health Services
  Leisure activities  
  Where to turn  
  What's on  
  Images of The Hague  
  Useful Links/Websites  

The information given by Outpost is based upon the gathered personal experiences of expatriate families. Therefore, you will appreciate that Outpost cannot accept any liability for damages directly or indirectly resulting from the services rendered or information given.

Source of images : Global Outpost Services & the Outpost network and www.thehague.nl
Updated : August 21, 2006