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Amsterdam - Healthcare and Medical Treatment

Some expats who are considering moves to other countries are concerned about the quality of healthcare in those countries, and rightly so. If you're considering a move to Amsterdam, this probably doesn't need to be high on your list of concerns. Standards of healthcare in the Netherlands is typically very high. You'll find a great array of services available, all exhibiting high quality.

If you're headed to Amsterdam or any region of the Netherlands, you won't need to deal with vaccinations - none are required for entry into the country.

Note that the Netherlands has a national health insurance scheme which provides healthcare for its citizens and for some who work or study in the country. This is important because it means that everyone in Amsterdam and other countries of this region are covered by health insurance, and that you must provide proof of insurance before you'll be allowed to take up residence (even temporary residence) in the country.

The country's health insurance plan is called Ziekenfonds. Participants are approved based on income and more than half the country's population qualify for the program. Access is an organization dedicated to helping bridge the gap for English speaking people in the Netherlands. You can find more information from Access at or by phoning +31 (0)20 423 3217.

If you're planning to work in the country, you may be covered under the national scheme. If not, you'll be required to take out a private policy. When you take out this policy, be sure that you have several copies and that you have copies in several languages. You'll be checked for those policies at several points and you'll need them if you have to seek medical attention in the country. While it's not mandatory, those visiting the country are also advised to take out insurance that will pay for returning the body to the home country in the case of death.

If you plan an extended stay in Amsterdam, you'll be expected to find a family doctor. The doctors are scattered across the city and most people seem to seek out a doctor in their own neighborhood. This isn't always easy as many have waiting lists and (like physicians everywhere) limit the number of new patients. If you're looking for a doctor, you may want to start with the country's central referral service at 0900-503-2042. The number 112 is the national call for emergency medical help.

Amsterdam has two major hospitals - the Academic Medical Center and the Slotervaart. There are several other hospitals in the city and many have walk-in clinics. The Academic Medical Center is part of the University of Amsterdam. The research facilities at this hospital includes cardiovascular research, oncology and neurosciences.

Medications in Amsterdam are dispensed by a pharmacy and the area pharmacies take turns staying open for 24-hour periods.

Read more about this country

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