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Find out how to navigate the health care system in the Netherlands. From a General Practitioner to a specialist, you can find the information below to get the care you need.


Registering with a General Practitioner

In the Netherlands, registering with a General Practitioner is very important because visiting your GP is usually the first step you have to take in order to get any treatment. By way of writing a referral, they are in charge of giving you access to more specialised medical care, such as psychological aid or (non-urgent) care that has to be provided in the hospital. It is therefore vital that you register with a GP sooner rather than later so that you don’t run into issues or delays when you need medical help. Visit your GP if you are sick, feeling down or have other health concerns. You are also welcome at your GP if you need a prescription, lab test or a vaccination.

There are multiple GP’s in Amsterdam with whom you can register. We recommend looking into recommendations from peers, for instance on the AUC Student Facebook groups. You can also email the student life officers if you have any questions about suitable options.

One option is to register with UvA’s (University of Amsterdam) Student Medical Service, where student doctors are available who have specific knowledge of student life.

The Student Medical Service (also called: 'Huisartsen Oude Turfmarkt') is located on Oude Turfmarkt 151, 1012 GC Amsterdam. 

Hospitals with emergency departments (ER /A&E):

  1. Onze Lieve Vrouwe Gasthuis, Oosterpark 9, telephone: 020-599 9111
  2. VU Medisch Centrum, De Boelelaan 1117, telephone: 020-444 4444
  3. Academisch Medisch Centrum (AMC), Meibergdreef 9, telephone: 020-566 9111

In the Netherlands, the General Practitioner ('Huisarts') is the gatekeeper to specialised medical care (in hospitals). It is custom to first visit a GP who can then refer you to a relevant medical specialist in the hospital. Visiting the E.R./ A&E is mostly meant for serious situations requiring immediate specialist medical treatment. Often a patient would arrive by ambulance. If you can visit your GP independently then this is recommended first, or contact the GP after-hours first.

For students with Dutch health insurance or a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), GP visits are covered by their basic (Dutch) health insurance. Going to the ER / A&E department for treatment that in normal cases would be done by a GP will probably lead to having to pay out of the deductible (eigen risico) from the health insurance.


In the Netherlands, prices for oral care (with the exception of cosmetic treatments) are controlled by the government and determined at the national level, therefore any dentist will charge you the same price for the same treatment. As a student, you therefore have the freedom to choose any dentist that suits your needs. However, the UvA and VU's joint Academic Dentistry Centre (ACTA) offers excellent patient care, in English, and welcomes students as they can offer dental care at a discount of 65% of the national price level. Treatment is in that case provided by university dental students who are supervised by qualified dentists. Treatments can take slightly more time because they may be carried out by several students, but the cost is lower (65% of the normal fee, on average).

Student Health Check survey

More generally, if you are interested in learning more about your health and finding out how you score on health, lifestyle and quality of life compared to your fellow university students, you can take part in the UvA Student Health Check.


Psychologists and Therapy Support

As both a University of Amsterdam and Vrije Universiteit student, you have access to both of these universities’ psychological services. Should you experience a lack of motivation or concentration, or any other personal problems, such as depression, anxiety or culture shock, you may wish to consult the UvA or VU Student Psychologists’ Office.

The UvA also offers workshops on various psychological guidance topics to its students.

If you require longer-term or more specialised help, these services can help you to find the appropriate mental health professional.

UvA Student Counselling Service

Student counsellors are available for students requiring advice and information on study progress and planning, registration, finances and appeals proceedings. You can approach a student counsellor for financial issues related to student grants and loans, issues related to immigration and insurance, registering and de-registering, study delays, studying with a disability, and individual coaching, help or advice. 

Get help from a student counsellor early to maximise the chances that the counsellor will be able to help you. Consultations with the student counsellor are free of charge.