How to find a health provider

In The Hague and every other Dutch city, GPs (General Practitioners) play a central role in the healthcare system. Where in other countries it is possible to make an appointment directly with a specialist, in the Netherlands this is not allowed (though some expat insurance companies like Cigna do allow this). The standard way to handle a (non-emergency) health problem in the Netherlands is to make an appointment with your GP, who will then make an assessment. If necessary, you will then be referred to a specialist. You can choose your own GP. In general, most GPs require that their patients live nearby. The advantage of this is that, in case of an emergency, the GP can reach the patient within 15 minutes. If you have a preference for a male or female GP, you can inform the GP about your wishes.


Visiting a doctor

In the Netherlands, when you find a GP it is a normal to ask for an interview/intake. In most cases, this will be charged as a consultation. The interview/intake enables you to get to know the GP and if you feel comfortable with him or her, then you can sign up. If you have any medical reports or files, you should bring them to your new GP. He or she can assess your medical history and will then have up-to-date information about your medical status. You will find that in the Netherlands most GPs speak excellent English. Keep in mind, however, that English is not their native language. Whenever you call or visit your GP, be sure to ask if they are comfortable speaking English with you. In The Hague you will find GPs that specialise in the treatment of expats, for instance the International Health Clinic. To finalize your registration, you will need your insurance pass or some proof of your insurance.


The Centre for Children and Families (Centrum Jeugd en Gezin/CJG)

For monitoring the development of your child between birth and the age of 4 years, the Centre for Children and Families provides information, vaccinations, advice and help with child development and parenting. It’s a one-stop shop for children's health and wellbeing. Each district of The Hague has its own CJG. Once your registration at the City Hall is finalized, you will automatically receive an invitation. 


Applying for a school

Register your child as soon as possible at the school of your choice. Public schools technically are not allowed to refuse admission, unless full. However, popular schools have waiting lists and the municipality can assign catchment areas based on postcodes – you should register as young as the school allows. All schools have brochures and websites where they announce ‘open days’ when you can visit the school.