Rights category Health Care

May I see a doctor?

In the Netherlands you have a right to health care, even if you do don’t have a residence permit, therefore you may certainly make an appointment to see a doctor. Every doctor has a legal duty to treat you, regardless of whether or not you are ‘legally’ in the Netherlands and regardless whether you are insured or not.

What kind of help am I entitled to?

A doctor is obliged to give you [medisch noodzakelijke zorg], translated for doctors as [passende en verantwoorde zorg] ‘appropriate and reasonable’ help. For all care that is covered in  the basic health care insurance, health care practitioners can be reimbursed..

With which doctor may I make an appointment?

In the Netherlands you must first see a General Practitioner. They will discuss and possibly treat your condition, or he/she may refer you to a specialist for further treatment. All doctors in the Netherlands can get the costs of their treatment covered by Het CAK. It may even be the case that the doctor is unaware of this, in which case you may refer him to this site.

How do I find a General practitioner (GP)?

In case you become ill, you can make an appointment to see a doctor in your neighbourhood. Most doctors work within their own postal district, this is to be available at short notice should someone become too ill to visit the doctors office, and require a home visit. This is the reason why the doctor will ask you for your home address (this information is strictly confidential and may not be given to any other parties, except other doctors). If you have no home address, it is always best to tell the doctor this. Try to find a doctor in your own neighbourhood, or ask friend for recommendations. You may also try the internet to find a doctor suitable for you. www.kiesuwhuisarts.nl  type in your postcode to find a doctor in your neighbourhood.

What am I to do if the doctor is not willing to help me?

Many doctors are unfamiliar with the rules concerning migrants without residence permits. Therefore it is important to inform the doctor. You can ask him to visit the Het CAK website. In  the city information you can find contacts for organisations in your city who can help you find doctors who are aware of the insurance scheme. If there is no organisation in your city, you can contact Dokters van de Wereld, or Lampion.

Organisations Visiting a Doctor