The Netherlands

In emergencies call 112 to obtain help.

Accessing care

With the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), you can receive medically necessary treatment during a temporary stay in the Netherlands. Medically necessary treatment means treatment that cannot wait until you return home. You may need such treatment, for example, due to sudden illness or an accident.

You can also receive treatment related to pregnancy, childbirth, or chronic illnesses. If you have a condition that requires regular treatment while you are staying abroad, contact a health care provider in advance to arrange the treatment.

The European Health Insurance Card does not guarantee free treatment and you will be charged the same amount as local residents. We recommend carrying additional copies of your card. If you do not have a European Health Insurance Card or if it is not accepted, you will need to pay the cost of treatment yourself. You can then apply for reimbursement from Kela afterward.

The territory of the Dutch Antilles (Aruba, Curaçao, Bonaire, Saba, Sint Eustatius and Sint Maarten) does not belong to the European Union. The European Health Insurance Card can’t be used in these territories.

Sudden illness


If you need to see a doctor in the Netherlands contact any general practitioner (huisarts) in the area. You can only see a specialist if you have a general practitioner´s referral.


Dental treatment for patients under the age of 18 is usually free of charge. Adults usually pay for their treatment themselves. Reimbursements can be obtained only for procedures carried out by oral surgeons. Information about reimbursement is available from the health insurer Zilveren Kruis.


For some medicines you will have to pay the full price, for others part of the price, and some medicines are available free of charge. The Dutch healthcare authority determines the level of reimbursement. Consult the pharmacy if you have questions regarding the costs of medicines.

Hospital treatment

You can get hospital treatment by going to the emergency room or, in less urgent cases, if you have a doctor´s referral. Your doctor will need a copy of your European Health Insurance Card to receive consent for treatment from the health insurance fund. This is needed for you to get hospital care without cost.

In urgent cases, you can go directly to the emergency department of a public hospital (ziekenhuis). Show your European Health Insurance Card as soon as possible so that the hospital can contact the health insurance fund and you can get treatment free of charge.

In emergency situations, you get a free ambulance transport. You can travel a longer distance to the hospital by the cheapest public transport or taxi and be reimbursed for the expenses if the doctor gives you a certificate. This is possible for medical reasons, for example based on certain diseases. Request the health insurance fund´s consent for reimbursement of travel costs in advance. If you need to use a taxi (not in emergency) for your journey to medical care, Dutch National Contact Point can help you with this.

Generally, you have access to public healthcare free of charge with your European health Insurance Card.  If you have to pay the full price for treatment at a local public healthcare unit for which you would have been entitled to reimbursement with a European Health Insurance Card, you can apply for reimbursement retrospectively. You can also refer the healthcare provider to contact Zilveren Kruis if they don’t know what to do with the invoice. You can contact them at gbr(at) or by phone +31 33 445 68 70.

Read more about suddenly falling ill in Europe.

Read more about reimbursement of costs of treatment abroad.

Useful websites

If you want to travel to the Netherlands to use healthcare services there, you should read our website for general information about seeking treatment abroad. You can ask for additional information regarding seeking care in the Netherlands from the Dutch National Contact Point.

The contact information of places of treatment within the healthcare system and information about access to treatment are provided by the health insurer Zilveren Kruis. Healthcare providers are also listed in Dutch on the following sites: Zorgkaart Nederland (Patiëntenfederatie Nederland) and Allesoverhetgebit (dentists).

The Dutch Healthcare Authority determines the maximum prices of treatment in the Netherlands. Prices at hospitals are not, however, entirely regulated. It is therefore possible that the same treatment at two different hospitals can be invoiced at a different amount. You can enquire in advance about prices from places of treatment and hospitals. Maximum prices can be found on the Dutch Health Care Authority’s Nederlandse Zorgautoriteit (NZa) website (in Dutch). If the maximum price is not shown on the website, the hospital itself must publish the maximum prices of its treatments.

Quality and safety of treatment

In the event of treatment injuries, the legislation and patient insurance of the country providing the treatment is always applied. In case you are unhappy with the treatment you received, you should primarily try to sort the matter out with the treatment provider. If you want to file a complaint, the National Contact Point of the Netherlands can help you find the right authority.

Information on quality of healthcare is gathered on the website of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport.

Healthcare system

The healthcare system in the Netherlands is insurance-based, meaning that anyone residing or working in the Netherlands is obliged to take out a standard health insurance from a health insurer of their choice. The coverage provided by the standard package is decided by the government and includes costs like basic medical care costs, hospital treatment or prescription medication.