The most important difference between medical practice in the Netherlands and that of many other countries, is the predominant role of the ‘huisarts’ (general practitioner). They act as a gatekeeper to the wider Dutch healthcare system. They treat patients for basic problems and can answer most of your general health questions. He/she will be also perform, for example, standard gynaecological or paediatric examinations.

They are also the ones to provide referrals when further medical care is needed, such as hospitalisation, maternity care and access to other specialists. Without this referral access to specialists is restricted, and may not be reimbursed by your health insurance.


Register at a GP?

All Dutch occupants who live and work here, are obliged to have a healthcare insurance and a General Practitioner. Being registered to a GP also lowers the healthcare costs compared to visiting first aid or a hospital. We cannot emphasise enough the advantage of finding a GP before you need one. Register here.


Why choose a GP in a SAG healthcare center?

  • We believe that everyone should be able to rely on good health care in their own environment. That is why we offer a broad range of primary healthcare services in all our health centers. In our healthcare centers you will find your GP, but also other healthcare professionals like physiotherapists and pharmacists. Therefore, it is easy to coordinate various appointments and it enables better teamwork. Better and faster care by more professionals, and all behind one door.
  • We always tailor our care to your individual needs, because every patient is different. Personal care can also mean that we offer you a healthcare program. We have healthcare programs for, among others, people in certain age groups (elderly and youth), people with a chronic illness (COPD, diabetes or cardiovascular diseases) and people with mental health problems. Various disciplines work closely together in these healthcare programs, both within the center and at neighborhood level.
  • Each neighborhood has different residents, that is why every health center has its own accents. But despite these differences, all centers share important core values. Our care is low-threshold, integral, of high quality, on a human scale and based on partnership. We offer our patients the best possible care – in every phase of life and in every area.


Dutch health care
You can be assured that you will receive high quality healthcare in the Netherlands. However, some things may be arranged in in a different way that you are used to. This brochure aims to help you better understand Dutch healthcare.

More information about healthcare in the Netherlands, insurance and having a baby in the Netherlands can be found via these useful links.