Health care

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This guide to the healthcare system in the Netherlands explains all you need to know about Dutch health care and what services are available to ITC students.


If you cannot attend your appointment with your practitioner, the hospital, specialist, or dentist, you must cancel at least 24 hours in advance.

No-show will cost you personally around € 20. Neither the insurance company nor ITC will reimburse these expenses.

  • Healthcare in the Netherlands

    One of the many great things about living in the Netherlands is the excellent standard of Dutch healthcare, rated as one of the best in Europe. The Netherlands topped the list of 35 nations in the 2017 Euro Health Consumer Index (the ‘industry standard’ of modern healthcare) and spends 10.9 per cent of GDP on health.

    Culturally bound

    Plus, almost all doctors speak excellent English, making healthcare in the Netherlands very accessible to international students. But healthcare is very culturally bound. Within this Dutch system, you may face situations completely different from that which you are used to in your own country. Especially when feeling unwell and ill, these cultural differences might take you by surprise and frustrate you. But do not worry, you will always find and get the healthcare you need. It is only organised differently to how you might be used to and expect it to be.

    In general, the Dutch premise is that people are personally responsible for their own health and for their own well-being. People are expected to take their own responsibility to prevent illness, of course within the boundary of what national healthcare offers and indicates.

  • Doctor

    The ‘huisarts’ (general practitioner or GP) is the gatekeeper to all the other types of medical treatment, so they are the first point of contact when you have a health problem (unless it’s an emergency, of course).

    The GP can deal with routine health issues, perform standard gynaecological and pediatric examinations, and refer you onto other services, including hospitals, specialists, home midwifery and physiotherapy.

    When necessary, the GP will refer you to a specialist at the hospital. It is not possible to visit a specialist at the hospital without a GP referral letter. The GP is responsible for gathering and retaining all your medical records.

    ITC has a special arrangement for her international students with the Medical Health Centre Veldpoort (HC Veldpoort), The Centre is ideally located: very close to the ITC International Hotel and the MST hospital. A number of GPs are working in this 'up to date' Medical Centre and are experienced with international students. For further information about their services please visit the website of the Medical Health Centre Veldpoort.

    Your first point of contact is the general practitioner of the Health Centre Veldpoort (HC Veldpoort). When you make your first appointment you will be appointed a general practitioner (GP). He/she will remain your GP for the whole duration of your study at ITC. This will allow your GP to gain a good impression of your complaints or calls for help, and develop a confidential relationship. You can consult your GP by appointment only. Once you are appointed a GP, you can contact your GP directly via the telephone number.

    On your first visit, the receptionist of the HC Veldpoort will write the name of your GP on a small ITC Healthcare Information Card with the phone numbers and the address of the HC Veldpoort. Whenever you need medical support, take along this info-card together with your insurance policy certificate.


    To make your first appointment with a general Practitioner, you need to download the registration form, fill it in and send the completed form to:

    Within 48 hours you’ll receive an email with the name of the GP that was appointed to you and the date and time of your appointment.

    Please note you only need to register with a GP once and only if you require the services of a GP.

    Be on time and bring the following

    Please be at HC Veldpoort 10 minutes in advance of your first appointment to exchange necessary information with the receptionist. Take the following items with you:

    • passport/residence permit
    • insurance certificate
    • BSN number
    • ITC Healthcare Information Card.

    Second and further appointments

    Second and further appointments can be made only after first-time registration (see above):

    • on workdays between 08:00-10:30 and 11:30-17:00 by telephone*
    • 24/7 online on their website (‘web agenda’ after logging in).

    The assistant will ask you the reason for consultation. This is necessary in order to determine the urgency. It is also possible that the assistant will give you medical advice without booking an appointment. Appointments for patients are normally scheduled for 10 minutes. Indicate if you may need more time to explain your medical condition or if you want to discuss more than one health problem.

    * For other questions or results of laboratory tests and/or X-ray results, you can call from 14:00 to 17:00.  

    Cancel an appointment

    If you need to cancel an appointment, you must give at least 24 hours notice. If not, you will be charged. You will also be charged if you show up late, or miss your appointment altogether.

    Always take your

    • passport/residence permit
    • insurance certificate
    • BSN number
    • ITC Healthcare Information Card

    when visiting your GP, a health centre or hospital. Make sure the name on the insurance paper is the same as the name in your passport.

  • Dentist

    Dental care for people over the age of 19 is covered by the insurance up to a certain amount and only in the case of an emergency. Please check the insurance policy.

    The following dentists regularly treat ITC students:

    Making an appointment

    Call between 08:00 and 12:00 to make an appointment. If these dentists are not able to treat you because of their full agenda, or in the case of a dental emergency in the evening, night, weekend or on public holidays, they can tell you which dentist in Enschede is on duty or you can phone 0900-128 26 32 for the duty dentist.

    They prefer you to pay cash. Usually, the costs remain under € 200. These costs can be claimed from your insurance using the claim form. Always take your

    • passport/residence permit
    • insurance certificate
    • BSN number
    • ITC Healthcare Information Card

    with you.

  • Mental health care (well-being)

    For study problems and mental or emotional stress, you can consult either your general practitioner, mentor, supervisor, ITC Student Affairs Officers or UT psychologist. All are, in their field of profession and experience, available to advise students who face study pressure in combination with adjusting in Enschede and being away from family and out of their comfort zone. They can give tips and tricks about planning, time management etc. or are available just to listen to you.

    Note: A psychiatrist can be consulted only on referral by your GP.

    Contact Psychologists, University of Twente
    De Veldmaat 5, Vrijhof (building 47), fl oor 3, room 311, 77522 NM Enschede
    +31 (0)53 489 20 35 (in case of no reply within offi ce hours +31 6 142 154 98)

  • Medication


    A ‘drogist’ (e.g. Kruidvat, Etos) sells non-prescription medications, toiletries, cosmetics and baby essentials. An ‘apotheek’ (pharmacy) sells prescription-only drugs as well as over-the-counter medication, vitamins, baby items, homoeopathic products and medical equipment for home use and can also advise on medications and minor ailments.

    Please note: not all examinations, treatments or medications/drugs, are covered by the insurance. For example, medications for which a prescription is not necessary and are sold over the counter have to be paid for personally like i.e. paracetamol. Most medications obtained on prescription from your GP or specialist are covered by the insurance.

    At the pharmacy you will be required to advance the costs of medication and file a claim via your insurer.


    The pharmacy in Health Centre Veldpoort can be used by ITC students.

    Procedure for collecting your medication:

    1. Go to the pharmacy in Health Centre Veldpoort
    2. Hand in your prescription
    3. The pharmacy employee informs you about the procedure (verifying coverage with insurance)
    4.  Checking the insurance coverage takes one day max., so you can return to the pharmacy within the same day or next day.

    For more information on insurance matters, please visit:

    If your insurance covers the medication, you can collect your medication without further action.

    If the medication is not covered by your insurance, you will need to pay for the medication in cash.


    Apotheek Veldpoort
    Cromhoffsbleekweg 2, 7513 EW Enschede 
    Monday Friday: 08:00-18:00
    +31 (0)53 434 78 55


    You can request a repeat prescription online. Go to the website of your GP and click “herhaalrecepten” (repeat prescriptions).

    If you order before 10:00 you can pick up your order at your pharmacy after 15:00 the next day. You can also arrange for prescriptions by calling your GPs assistant between 08:00 and 10:30 or 11:30 and 17:00.

    Always take your

    • passport/residence permit
    • insurance certificate
    • BSN number
    • ITC Healthcare Information Card

    when you collect your medication. Make sure the name on the insurance paper is the same as the name in your passport.

  • X-ray for Tuberculosis check

    By law, some nationals from outside the Netherlands/EU need to have a lung X-ray every six months during the first two years of their stay in the Netherlands. The reason for these X-rays is to check for Tuberculosis, a highly infectious disease that can be treated by medication. It can take some time before an infection shows up. For the X-ray check, the dosage of radiation is very low and not harmful to your health.

    This examination will be carried out by the GGD (Municipal Health Centre). The GGD will send a completed form to the IND (Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service). This procedure is part of the application for obtaining a residence permit. ITC Student Affairs will make the appointment for the X-ray and provide the required form. You will only be informed if the X-ray result is not satisfactory.

    Contact details
    GGD Regio Twente, TBC department
    Nijverheidstraat 30 7511 JM Enschede
    +31 53 487 69 80

  • Vaccination

    The Travel Health Clinic (THC) provides vaccinations, malaria prophylaxis and general health information for travellers. If you require fieldwork vaccinations they will need to take place a couple of weeks before your fieldwork departure. You will receive an invitation if your fieldwork or internship destination is outside Europe. There is also an opportunity to buy, at your own expense, insect repellent, bed nets and medication against diarrhoea. The THC also retails first aid kits.

    The THC can be reached by phone (24 hours a day) or by email (they respond within 24 hours). They are in contact with hospitals and medical staff abroad. The THC contact details will be given by ITC Student Affairs to those whose fieldwork destination is outside Europe. For further information on travel and tropical diseases, please visit:

    Travel Health Clinic
    +31 (0)88 291 49 00

  • Pregnancy

    In the case of pregnancy, please contact a midwife in or before week 10 of the pregnancy.

More information and forms

Contact details

Opening hours Monday-Friday 08:00 - 17:00
Visiting address Cromhoffsbleekweg 2, 7513 EW Enschede
+31 (0)53 432 42 07 (for first appointment only) (section ‘Faculty ITC Students’)

Opening hours during the evening, night, weekend and public holidays
Only for URGENT problems that cannot wait until the next working day
Visiting address Beltstraat 70, 7512 AA Enschede
+31 (0)88 555 11 88

112 (penalty for improper use)

Hospital Medisch Spectrum Twente (MST)
Visiting address Koningsplein 1, 7512 KZ Enschede