Anyone toying with the idea of relocating himself to some other nation has reservations about the quality and efficacy of healthcare available in the new country. There is nothing amiss about it, as it is only natural to think so. In case you are planning to move to the fine city of Amsterdam in the near future, this might not be numero uno on your long list of worries. This is because the quality of healthcare to be had in Holland remains, on the whole very high indeed.
The only thing is that an expat has to present proof of insurance ahead of being permitted to become a resident, even a temporary resident at that, in this country. Until recently, the nation had a health insurance scheme termed Ziekenfonds. Now it is no longer the case as every resident of the country has to buy health insurance without exception. By the way, for expats from the U.K. the organization named Access is actively dedicated to bridging the gap between Netherlanders and the English speaking expats living in the Netherlands.
For further information about Access and its activities can be had by dialling the number +31 (0)20 423 3217 or consult their website www.access-nl.org.
Those who work in Holland also have to go for a private insurance policy and as such are legally obliged to take out health insurance as long as they live in the Netherlands. If you have an International plan, ensure that you make several copies of your it and also in different languages. Chances are that you might be checked for these insurance policies at various points; also you will require them in case you need to receive medical attention. If expats intend to extend their sojourn in the city of Amsterdam, they should get the services of family doctors. As doctors tend to be spread out across the city, most expats apparently look for a doctor working in their immediate neighbourhood. This is never easy for the simple reason that many doctors might have their own waiting lists and as such tend to restrict the number of patients who happen to be new. If you have any trouble in finding a doctor, you can begin with the Netherland’s Central Referral Service by dialling 0900-503-2042. For emergency medical aid, the number to dial is 112.
The Expat Medical Centre caters exclusively to expats and tourists. Access their website www.expatmc.net or call the surgery on +31 (0) 20 4275011
Hospitals in Amsterdam
Amsterdam boasts of two main hospitals, viz., the Slotervaart as well as the Academic Medical Center. There are many other hospitals located in town, with several of them equipped with walk-in clinics. The Academic Medical Center is under the administration of the Amsterdam University. Several research facilities are available at this well-known hospital such as oncology, cardiovascular research as also neuroscience. As to medications, they are given out by pharmacies, and in certain areas of the city, pharmacies stay open day and night.
Slotervaart Hospital: http://www.slotervaartziekenhuis.nl/
Academic Medical Center: http://www.amc.nl/web/Zorg.htm
STI Outpatient Clinic; Weesperplein
At this juncture, special mention must be made of the STI Outpatient Clinic; Weesperplein. STI Outpatient Clinic situated in Weesperplein 1, is functioning under the aegis of GG&GD, Municipal Health Service at 1018 WZ Amsterdam. Trams with numbers 7 and 10 as well as the metro have stops at Weesperplein. The clinic is open Monday through Friday from 8.30 – 12.00 a.m. and in the afternoon from 1.30 – 5 p.m. Call services are available in Spanish and English to fix appointments and the phone number to do it is 020-555 5822. Blood tests at the clinic can take many days. You can check the test results either by phone or going on-line. The most dangerous and notorious STIs are Chlamydia, HIV/AIDS, Syphilis, Gonorrhoea and Hepatitis B. If you suspect to be infected with any of the various ST’s, visit the Outpatient Clinic for a free examination and treatment.