Huisartsenpraktijk Blaak  Blaak 24    3011 TA  Rotterdam   010 – 411 12 07

Huisartsenpraktijk Blaak
Blaak 24
3011 TA Rotterdam
  010 – 411 12 07

Huisartsenpraktijk Blaak  Blaak 24    3011 TA  Rotterdam   010 – 411 12 07

Home | Expats & Internationals

Expats & Internationals


The Dutch healthcare system can be very confusing if you are used to something else in your home country. Hence, we at Huisartsenpraktijk Blaak want to help you understand it better and adapt.

Below you will find general information about the Dutch healthcare system. At the very bottom, there is a FAQ for more practical matters.

Flossie Garton is a consultant specifically for internationals, for any non-medical questions you may have:


What to arrange upon arrival

1. Register at the municipality to get a BSN.

2. Acquire mandatory health insurance as soon as possible (unless you are exempt). You have 4 months for this, and it will be backdated to your arrival date.

3. Acquire a Dutch 06-number. Healthcare providers in The Netherlands often cannot call international numbers. Referrals to specialists also require a 06-number. You can get a cheap pre-paid Dutch simcard just to receive calls.

4. Register with a GP. Please do not wait until you actually fall ill.


General practitioner

The GPs in the Netherlands play an important role. We are the first point of contact for medical issues, whether it’s an emergency or not. If necessary, we can refer you to any hospital in The Netherlands. Your GP also coordinates your healthcare as a whole. We are responsible for keeping your medical records and will receive letters from the hospital if you do go to a specialist.

Since the GP is so important and it should be accessible to all, you never pay a cent for GP care if you are insured. GP care is always exempt from your deductible.

It is advisable to register with a practice as soon as possible, instead of waiting till you become ill. Huisartsenpraktijk Blaak is currently open for registrations.
If you are unable to register anywhere, you can be seen as a casual patient. Our partner, International Health Centre, offers non-urgent casual patient appointments here. For emergencies after work hours, you can contact the Huisartsenpost, which is located inside the Sint Franciscus Hospital.


Huisartsenpraktijk Blaak

Every practice has their own way of working. We are a very modern practice, and we make use of several e-health solutions. We apply for this, a safe online patient portal where you can arrange your own health matters. Availability by phone is limited, online we are available 24/7. If you are someone who prefers to arrange as much as possible digitally, instead of waiting on the phone, we are the ideal practice for you. More information on how we work can be found here.


International Health Centre Rotterdam

iHCR is our partner that caters to internationals and it’s open 3 days a week. Internationals can book appointments as casual (non-registered) patients. Perhaps they were unable to register anywhere or they might want a service that their own GP does not provide, such as preventive checkups.
Registered Blaak patients will occasionally be seen by doctor Nguyen at iHCR as well.


General principles of the Dutch healthcare system

Equality: In a lot of countries, you can choose either private or public healthcare depending on how much you can or want to spend. In The Netherlands, this does not matter when it comes to healthcare providers. They all charge everyone the exact same amount, so there is no possibility of preferential treatment. Health insurers also can’t deny you basic coverage based on age, gender or medical history. Everyone receives the same type and quality of treatment, regardless of social status or income.

Solidarity: Healthcare is funded by all citizens through income tax and mandatory health insurance fees. Those who cannot afford the mandatory health insurance, such as students or those with a low income, can apply for benefits to pay for the health insurance. If you want care without any medical indication, such as a preventive MRI scan, you pay for this out of pocket, in order to not strain the system. This is to ensure access to care for everyone.

Freedom of choice: You are always free to choose your healthcare provider. This is why GPs can only refuse your registration if they are full, if you live too far or if you don’t have Dutch health insurance. Most of the time you can also choose which specialist and which hospital you want to visit, although waiting times can vary. Check with your health insurance before selecting a specialist healthcare provider if they are contracted.


Use of medication – only paracetamol?

We hear a lot that Dutch GPs always send you home with paracetamol. This is not true, but Dutch doctors do approach medication differently than some other countries. For example, in some countries they prescribe antibiotics for any kind of infection. However, medication can have harmful side-effects; the over-use of antibiotics can lead to intestinal issues because it also affects the ‘good’ bacteria. Hence, the wait-and-see approach is often applied for minor illnesses like the flu, because the body can often solve these on its own. So yes, a Dutch GP will send you home with paracetamol if you come for a common cold or flu.
Do not worry, the Dutch GP will prescribe medication if it’s necessary and proven to be effective.


Referral letters

If the GP cannot help you within their expertise, he/she will refer you to a specialist. You can do your own research and tell your GP which hospital you would like to go to, or let them choose whichever hospital has the shortest waiting time.

The following healthcare providers do not require a specialist: Physiotherapists, midwives, dieticians, opticians, audiologists, dentists, holistic therapists.


Useful links – trustworthy information in English about health and diseases, made by Dutch doctors.
Thuisarts – the Dutch version (more topics available)

Zorgwijzer – comparing different Dutch health insurances.

Expat Centre – specialised one stop shop for expats in Rotterdam



Frequently Asked Questions:


For further questions or feedback: for general questions for anything medical for registrations

I am NOT a patient (yet)

How do I get health insurance?

The first step is registering yourself at the municipality, so you get a BSN number. Those working in the Netherlands are then obligated to take out public health insurance (basisverzekering). You must arrange this within 4 months and it will be backdated to the day of your arrival. For more information about the public health insurance, please go to this page.

If you are an international student without a paid internship or job, you do not qualify for this Basisverzekering. You can either keep using your European Health Insurance Card, or take out private insurance such as InsureToStudy.

Can I register?

The practice is open for new registrations.

You are eligible if:

– You live in our care area;
– You have a Dutch “Basisverzekering” insurance OR one of the following: InsureToStudy, OOM GHU/NNAM, ONVZ Health.

If you are unsure if you are eligible to register, you can e-mail us your zipcode and insurance company.

Note: AON student insurance and OOM SIN are not accepted.

To register, please visit our Registrations page.

I can't register, what do I do?

If you are having trouble finding a GP but you do have mandatory Dutch health insurance (Basisverzekering) you can contact your insurer to help you find a GP.

If you do not have the Basisverzekering you will have a hard time registering anywhere. You can get general practitioner care at our partner International Health Centre Rotterdam. They will see you as a casual patient (non-registered patient).

How do I register with a pharmacy?

You are free to choose any pharmacy you want.

Pharmacies in the city centre:

Apotheek Lagaay – Westblaak
BENU Apotheek Spanhoff
Apotheek Ramleh
BENU Apotheek Erasmus 
BENU Apotheek Wester in Rotterdam

You can register online via their website. Please remember to inform us if you switch pharmacies.

Do you provide casual patient (non-registered patient) care?

If it is urgent, you can call any practice nearby. If they think it’s urgent, they have duty of care.

If it is not urgent, you can get general practitioner care at our partner International Health Centre Rotterdam. They will see you as a casual patient (non-registered patient).

I am a patient

I am new; do I need an intake with the GP?

It is advisable to book a 10-minute phone call appointment with a GP to discuss your medical history and to answer any general questions you may have.

Who is my GP?

We do not assign you to any GP.

You are entirely free to choose with which doctor you want to book an appointment with. We do ask you to return to the same GP in case of a follow-up appointment.
If you want to see the same doctor every time, that’s no problem. They do all work part-time.

Here you can see all of our GPs. All of our staff speaks English.

How do I book an appointment?

You can book an appointment here.

Due to the Corona crisis, it is only possible to make online appointments for the doctor to (video)call you. You can make an appointment via with your DigiD.
Please do not come to the practice unless this was explicitly agreed upon with a member of staff.

How do I cancel my appointment?

Please cancel your appointment 24 hours in advance, so we have the time to schedule another patient in your place.

You can do this by e-mailing us at on weekdays.

Unexpected crises or unexpected situations can happen, and we do understand this, but we may have to bill you a no-show fee if you do not cancel in a timely manner:

€ 15,00 (10-minute appointment)
€ 30,00 (20-minute appointment)

How can I get a repeat prescription?

A repeat prescription is for medication that you have used recently.
You can request a repeat prescription via If you do not see your medication in the list, you can send a message to the doctor.

You can also get your repeat prescription by calling our prescription line:

Call 010 – 411 12 07, press 2.
This line can be reached 24/7. Please clearly state your name and date of birth, as well as the name and dosage of the medication. Lastly, whether you’d like it to be delivered to your home or not.

Do I pay anything as a registered patient?

As long as you are still insured (Dutch insurance), you will never pay anything at the practice. GP care is exempt from the deductible/co-pay (eigen risico).
Medication, lab tests or any other things outside of our practice will be subject to your deductible. They will bill your health insurer, who will then bill you.

If you have a private contracted insurance, such as InsureToStudy, we will directly bill them. They will then ask you to fill out a form and issue us the consultation fee.

If you are uninsured, you will pay casual patient fees before each consultation. These fees vary between €15,46 and €61,83 (in 2021).

Can I get a medical certificate?

Your GP is not allowed to issue a medical certificate.

Please review this document for the reasons and how to proceed.

KNMG on medical certificates

How can I file a complaint?

We are very sorry to hear you had a negative experience with someone in our team. Please try to solve it first by talking to the doctor concerned. If it’s about other staff, please make an appointment with doctor V.T. Nguyen or doctor M. Siawash.

  1. Discuss your complaint with the doctor it concerns. If it’s about an assistant or nurse practitioner, you can discuss it with doctor V.T. Nguyen or doctor M. Siawash.
  2. If you wish to file an official complaint, please refer to the SKGE (Foundation Complaints & Disputes Primary care). Their website is in Dutch unfortunately, so their contact information can be found here.

I am leaving the practice

How do I deregister?

Fill out the form here. Scroll down for the English version!