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Medical Services

  • The Netherlands has reciprocal health arrangements with other EU countries and Australia. If you're an EU citizen, a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), available from health centres (or, in the UK, post offices), covers you for most medical care. You still might have to pay on the spot, but you should be able to claim it back at home.
  • Citizens of other countries are advised to take out travel insurance; medical or dental treatment is less expensive than in North America but still costs enough.
  • For minor health concerns, see a local drogist (chemist) or apotheek (pharmacy, to fill prescriptions).
  • For more serious problems, go to the casualty ward of a ziekenhuis (hospital).


Contact the Centrale Doktersdienst (Central Doctors Service; www.doktersdienst.nl) for doctor, dentist or pharmacy referrals day or night.

Emergency Rooms

A number of hospitals have 24-hour emergency facilities.

Onze Lieve Vrouwe Gasthuis At Oosterpark, near the Tropenmuseum. It's the closest public hospital to the centre of town.

VU Medisch Centrum Hospital of the Vrije Universiteit (Free University).


Forget about buying flu tablets and antacids at supermarkets; for anything stronger than toothpaste you'll have to go to a pharmacy.

BENU Apotheek Dam Pharmacy just off the Dam.