Netherlands Medical Insurance News
The Dutch healthcare system is an interesting symbiosis of both public and privately funded healthcare and medical services. The Dutch government is not involved in the day-to-day running of healthcare services in the country, despite the fact that there are many government owned medical facilities. Generally the private medical community is primarily responsible for the provision of everyday medical services, while the government is tasked with the supervision and oversight of the quality and accessibility of the nation's healthcare services as a whole.
In 2006 legislative reforms were introduced that made it mandatory for every resident of the Netherlands to obtain some form of comprehensive health insurance. This has virtually eliminated any prior differences that may have existed between the public and private healthcare systems, as everyone in the country is now covered by personal insurance policies. This new insurance scheme has government mandated minimums that all health insurance companies operating in Holland must offer, and the government has fixed the premium rates for these insurance services.
What this means is that while individuals are required to obtain health insurance coverage they will usually only receive the minimum amount of cover as mandated by law, leaving them woefully exposed in the event of any serious illness or injury. However, the system that has been instituted in Holland has proven to be a suitable alternative to the traditional Private vs Public healthcare debate, and has given the Dutch heath care system the large amount of acclaim that it currently holds around the world.
The Dutch healthcare system is set up around the family doctor. It is this primary physician that is responsible for the mental and physical health of the community, to such an extent that almost all residents of the Netherlands are registered with a family doctor. In the event that a patient needs to go to hospital it is the primary doctor who will make the recommendation, or in the event of an emergency, provide additional details to the hospital staff. This level of familiarity between patients and doctors is not often achieved in many other countries and serves to make the Dutch healthcare system unique.
In 2003 the Dutch spent 8.9% of their total GDP on healthcare, and while this spending was below the levels seen in many other European nations, it was still extremely high. The institution of the nations “health insurance” plan have lead to a number of improvements throughout the healthcare system as a whole, and have removed many of the obstacles associated with the old system. Foreign nationals are, however, continuing to experience problems with the system, as individuals who lack residency document are ineligible to join the nations health insurance scheme and must, instead, rely on their own insurance.
We can provide quality Netherlands health insurance plans. The plans that we offer are comprehensive, guaranteed renewable for life, and globally portable. For more information about the plans that we can provide in the Netherlands, or to receive a free quote, please contact us today.
When you are visiting, or permanently relocating to, a new country it is important to know some of the basic information about the destination nation. With that in mind we have provided some general information about the Netherlands below.
Please be advised that the information contained on this page is liable to change without prior notice, and as such, all data contained herein is meant for reference purposes only. For more accurate information, please consult an expert.
Official Name: Officially known as the Kingdom of the Netherlands, this country is also known as the Netherlands or simply Holland. People from the Netherlands/Holland are referred to as being “Dutch”, which is also the name of the nation’s main language.
Capital: The capital of the Netherlands is Amsterdam which is located in the northern part of the country on the North Sea coast.
Location: Holland is located in the Northern part of Europe and shares a border with Germany , Belgium and the North Sea .
Size: The Netherlands have a total area of 41,526 square kilometers. In comparative terms this means that the Netherlands occupies a total area that is slightly smaller than twice the size of the US state of New Jersey.
Climate: Holland experiences a temperate marine climate that is exemplified by strong offshore winds and cold winters. Summers will never get very hot, but the temperature will usually remain at a steady constant in autumn and spring.
Population: Approximately 0.2% of the Dutch population is living with HIV/Aids. This percentage is equal to an estimated 19,000 people with the disease. While the prevalence of HIV/Aids is not extremely high in the Netherlands, it is growing fast enough to cause some concern.
Life expectancy at birth: With an average life expectancy of 79.11 years at birth, ranking the country at 17 th in the world for average life expectancy at birth. This is a testament to the Dutch Social welfare and healthcare system, as well as the predominantly healthy lifestyle lead by many Dutch nationals.
Prevalence of HIV/AIDS: Approximately 0.2% of the Dutch population is living with HIV/Aids. This percentage is equal to an estimated 19,000 people with the disease. While the prevalence of HIV/Aids is not extremely high in the Netherlands , it is growing fast enough to cause some concern.
Major illnesses: There are no major diseases or health risks in the Netherlands aside from those health threats that you can reasonably expect to encounter. Possible health risks include Rabies, Flu, and dehydration.
Ethnic Groups: Holland is a predominantly homogenous country where the bulk of the population (83%) is of the same, Dutch, ethnicity. There are, however, a number of other ethnicities in the country and the remaining 17% of the total population is made up from individuals of Turkish, Moroccan, Antillean, Indonesian, and Surinamese descent.
Languages: There are two official languages in the Netherlands, Dutch and Frisian. Other languages are spoken throughout the country, but will mainly be heard in use only with the ethnic groups from the language's place of origin.
Religion: Holland is known as a religiously tolerant country and as such there are a number of faiths observed throughout the nation. The major religions practiced in the Netherlands are Catholicism (31%), Dutch Reformed (13%), Calvinist (7%), Islam (5.5%) and Others (2.5%). Approximately 44% of the Dutch population do not observe any religion, or identify themselves as being atheist.
Government: The Netherlands is a constitutional monarchy. As such the monarch is considered to be the head of state, but the government institutes legislation based on a formally declared constitution. Government officials, such as the Prime minister, are elected through a democratic process.
Head of State: Queen Beatrix. The Queen is the formal head of state, but holds no actual legislative power, her opinion is, however, highly regarded and her views on policy are closely listened to.
Head of Government: Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende is the head of the Dutch government and the head of the ruling political party.
Military: Holland has a moderate military force consisting of an army, navy and air force. There is no mandatory service in the Dutch military and individuals must be at least 20 years old to enlist. The country currently spends approximately 1.6% of its Gross Domestic Product on the military.
Economy : The Dutch economy is steeped in history and the development of the nations extremely stable, open market, economic platform dates back to the early 1600's when Amsterdam was one of the worlds economic center. In the modern world Holland continues this tradition as the nation continues to be one of the most important shipping hubs in Europe. The Dutch economy is characterized by stable industry, low unemployment and moderate inflation, all of which contributes to the nation’s high standing in the economic world.
GDP: The Netherlands has a Purchasing power parity of US$ 529.6 billion and an actual GDP of US$ 613.13 billion.
Netherlands Travel Tips
When traveling to a new country it can be hard to know how to act and what precautions to take. It is for this reason that we have provided some advice on the local laws and customs in Holland that you are expected to follow. Holland is an extremely liberal nation and there may be some radical cultural differences from what you may expect.
Please be advised that the information contained on this page is meant for reference purposes only, and may be liable to change without prior warning. For a more extensive list of travel advice, please consult an expert.
There is a global risk of terrorism. Terrorist attacks can be indiscriminate and may potentially target places frequented by foreign nationals and expatriates. In the event of a terrorist situation, take all due caution and follow government and official directions closely.It is required by the Dutch government that everyone over the age of 14 carry with them, at all times, a valid form of photo identification which must be displayed to police officers upon request. Failure to exhibit the required identification can lead to penalties.
Avoid carrying your valuable items on your person. Instead leave them in a safe place. While the Netherlands are a generally safe place, the main type of incident for which travelers require assistance is in regards to cases of petty theft. Keep a close eye on all your belongings.
If you wish to drive in the Netherlands you must possess a valid EU driving license, insurance, and travel documents. In the event that you are driving a vehicle not owned by you, you must also supply a written authorization from the owner upon request.
Road conditions in the Netherlands are generally good and well sign posted, if overcrowded. Traffic jams can become quite long, and are generally to be expected in and around the major cities.
Take care in and around canals. There have been a number of deaths in recent years due to foreign nationals drowning in the canals, due to the use of alcohol or cannabis.
Do not carry or use drugs outside of the properly licensed establishments. Possession or use of any narcotic substances outside of the authorized areas can carry a prison sentence. In January 2006 it became an offence to smoke cannabis or use any other “soft” drugs in any public place.
Residents or citizens of an EU country do not require a visa to enter the Netherlands. Other nationalities may require a visa, check with your government for the entry requirements of your nationality.
Non Dutch nationals must pay for any medical treatment that they receive in the Netherlands. The social medical system is designed to provide healthcare services for Dutch nationals and residents only; it is advised that you obtain comprehensive health insurance as treatment can be expensive.