Social Insurance and Medical Care
Medical care in The Netherlands is funded by the Dutch Health insurance, wich is obligatory. Failure to obtain it may lead to retroactive bills as well as fines. But you may choose who to go with, and the level of cover you would like. To register you need:
- Proof of residence
- Proof of financial competence
You would be wise to KEEP YOUR OWN ACCURATE AND DETAILED MEDICAL RECORDS! One good thing for us is that many doctors speak good English and are happy to practice it. The NHS web site gives excellent advice and up to date information. nhs.uk/Healthcareabroad
For further details you can get a pdf booklet with all necessary info – in English.dutch-healthcare-brochure
Quality of Medical Care in The Netherlands
The Dutch health care is of a high quality and comparable to health care in other Western European countries. They even have a system to give your doctor or specialist a rating. If you are looking for a specialist you can search on ratings and comments.
There are diagnostic laboratories and specialists in all areas. Hospitals are well equipped and there are maternity hospitals and many other clinics available. In every major city there is more than one hospital. Small cities always have a local doctor who can help you. In the weekends and evenings there is an emergency line you can call to get in contact with a doctor.
Most drugs are available in pharmacies and even in supermarkets sometimes. However, it may be that they are of a different brand than the medications used in other countries and also the prices are generally higher. If you are not sure they will have a specific drug you are advised to take the documentation of your drug to the pharmacy.
If you need medical attention, call the emergency service (police, fire brigade and ambulance) on the national number 112. This number you can call for free from a pay phone or any phone in general. Medical emergency services themselves (including ambulance) are not free and you will receive a bill.
The Dutch health system
The Dutch medical sector is based on a referral system where patients first must go to a local doctor. Medical specialists usually take only patients who have been referred to them by a general doctor. Make sure you are insured otherwise you have to pay the full bill. It is therefore recommended to first request a cost estimate before making use of medical services. It is also important that you call your doctor to make an appointment.
Pensions in Holland
If you’re receiving a UK state retirement pension or long-term incapacity benefit, you may be entitled to state-funded healthcare paid for by the UK. You’ll need to apply for form S1 from the International Pension Centre. Telephone: 0191 218 7777. If you’re a pensioner it is highly advisable to inform IPC when you relocate to Holland. You need to register your S1 with the authorities in the Netherlands – this entitles you to an EHIC issued by the UK, this allows access to medical care in other EEA countries – including Britain.
The Netherlands has double taxation agreements with the UK so you will not be taxed twice – provided you ensure that the tax offices are aware of your circumstances. You can arrange to have your pension paid directly into your bank account in the Netherlands – and still benefit from the increases as if you still lived in the Britain. Contact HMRC and your pension providers well before you leave the UK.
If you’ve only worked, lived or are working abroad then you must claim the State Pension through the relevant authority of the country where you currently live and have worked in.