By Pim Bouwmeester
When you move to the Netherlands, you are coming to live in a country that is widely-recognized for its excellent health care system.
One reason why the Dutch health care system is rated so high for quality is because it is widely and easily accessible. With over 150 acute care facilities that are open 24/7, of which over 90 are hospitals, there is always a medical facility within reach when needed. And since it is mandatory for all Dutch residents to take out at least a basic health insurance policy, the cost of health care is seldom part of the decision-making process when medical assistance is required. “Can I afford to go to the urgent care facility?” or “How will I pay this medical bill?” should never be a question here.
Over the past decade or so, the Netherlands has scored near the top in almost every ranking that compares European health care systems. High-quality health care, but at a price – those same rankings show that health care is relatively expensive in the Netherlands. Since it’s a topic that expatriates are naturally concerned about and the international press is full of stories about health scares, the author provides some background on, and the simple version (!) of, how it works.