Travel to Holland/Netherlands

1/05/2013 -- Admin
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Canals, barges, Amsterdam, cycling, architecture, boating, Van Gogh, museums, Arles, windmills, Madurodam, karting, tulip fields, beer, Anne Frank House, Red Light District, Gouda, Mondrian, Delft, Rijksmuseum, Rotterdam, walking, battlefields, blokarting, Wadden islands, Rembrandt, Poffertjes pancakes, wooden clogs, jenever gin …

Medical and Health

Documents needed: EHIC and passport

Doctors and Dentists

Doctors:  Everyone living in the Netherlands is legally obliged to take out healthcare insurance.

If you fall ill during your visit to Holland, you should consult a doctor working under the Dutch public healthcare insurance scheme (AGIS Zorgverzekeringen).

Treatment is usually free with the EHIC (European Health Insurance Card), previously known as the E111 form.

Dentists:  Nearly all dental practices are private.  State-provided dental treatment is only available for children up to age 18 in Holland. Everyone else has to pay. 

Charges are non-refundable in the Netherlands but you may be able to claim reimbursement back in the UK.

Hospital Treatment and Ambulance Costs

Unless it’s a real emergency, you can’t just walk in and expect to get treated at A&E. You’ll need a doctor’s referral for free inpatient hospital treatment.

If admitted to hospital before consulting a doctor, show your EHIC on admission and get the hospital administration to contact the public health authorities immediately.

Ambulance:  The service is free if a doctor agrees it’s necessary, otherwise you may be charged.


Drugstores (drogist) sell non-prescription medicines, toiletries, etc.  Pharmacies (apotheek) supply prescription drugs.

Charges vary depending on your prescription. If you do have to pay charges which are non-refundable in the Netherlands, you may be able to seek reimbursement back in the UK.

Remember to keep all receipts.

The EHIC card isn’t the same as having comprehensive travel insurance.  See What Can Go Wrong if in doubt about whether you need travel insurance for Holland.


NHS Choices Holland Guide

Foreign Office Travel Advice