There is nothing worse than having an emergency or being sick in a foreign country. Luckily so, since there are so many tourists visiting Amsterdam every day, there are also a lot of options in case of a medical emergency, easy medical appointments through private clinics and everything you need.
When you are sick in Amsterdam, you can pre-book an appointment, call a doctor to your hotel or call an ambulance. Call 112 for the emergency service or +31 20 570 9500 for a direct ambulance. For less urgent matters, you can contact Hoteldoc, Amsterdam Tourist Doctors and many other Tourist Doctors.
Do you want to know how insurance works in this country? What type of health system Dutch citizens have? Do you have to pay for hospital services or is it free of charge? How much does it cost to call a doctor to your hotel? After working as a receptionist in Amsterdam, I have learnt a lot about these services and how they work. If you want to learn more about it, keep reading!
What To Do When You are Sick in Amsterdam?
Being sick is an uncomfortable and unfortunate situation at home, even worse if you are on a holiday. However, finding a solution to any medical issue is something relatively easy when you are in a big city like Amsterdam. Due to the many cases of tourist needing medical service, there are many ways you can receive help:
- Private doctors that go to your hotel room
- Pre-booked appointments for doctor
- Pre-booked appointment for dentist (read FAQ)
- Hospital or clinic service
Private Doctors Appointment
This is the most common service for tourists as far as my experience goes. Working at a hotel I have had to contact hotel doctors several times and it is very efficient. Basically, the service works this way: you or the receptionist of the hotel you are at, calls the doctor and explains them what is going on with you and what type of emergency you have. if they find it appropriate, in 30 minutes or so you will have a doctor at your hotel who would examine you.
This is quite an efficient service to know if you really need to worry in case anything happens. In my experience, most cases are just done with that and a medical prescription for the pharmacy or some tests for the next day. This service is significantly less expensive than just going to an emergency room or hospital in Amsterdam, which you will have to pay. There are many doctors you can contact. Here are some of the most well-known ones and some I have contacted when in need:
Hoteldoc.nl provides the following medical service:
- Primary medical care for travellers without Dutch health insurance
- On-site visit to your hotel or Airbnb
- Qualified doctor
- Opens 24/7
- Payments are made by cash or credit card.
- Hotel / AirBnB / Home visit ANW – Starting from € 124,86 (including prescription if needed)
- Medication Renewal/Telephone Consultation – € 25 (no new medication)
- If you are insured, all major insurance companies will reimburse their services.
- A follow-up telephone consultation for the same illness within a 1-week period is provided at no additional charge.
- Call: +31 202624282
Amsterdam Tourist Doctors
Amsterdamtouristidoctors.nl provides the following services in case of a medical emergency:
- Walk-in appointments in their offices: Monday-Friday, 8AM-8PM/Weekends and Holidays, 9AM-5PM.
- 24/7 Hotel & Home visiting doctor service
- CRP Test
- Echography (Ultrasound)
- Electrocardiogram (ECG)
- STD and HIV tests
- Therapeutic joints Pain relief
- Consultation € 49,00 (90 euros on weekends and holidays)
- Medication consultation € 29,00 (49,00 euros on weekends and holidays)
- European Health Insurance Card and AON Student Insurance covers practice consultations
- Cash and card
- Costs for medical treatments provided by Amsterdam Tourist Doctors are covered by most travel-, health- and expat insurances worldwide
- Phone: +31 (0)20 2373654 (24/7)
TripMedic.com offers the following services:
- General practitioner in Amsterdam, walk-in consultation
- Prescription renewal visit
- They offer: primary care, treatment infections, skin problems, light trauma’s, wounds, tetanus injections and if needed a referral to the hospital for emergency care.
- Dutch, English, French, German
- General practitioner € 50
- Prescription renewal visit € 25
- Cash or card payments
- Specialities: allergist and immunologist, neurologist, oncologist, ophthalmologist, pediatric, radiologist and urologist
- Monday to Friday availability, you can book in their website.
Hospital and Ambulances
If you have an emergency while in Amsterdam, call 112, the emergency service for firemen and ambulance, or +31 20 570 9500 for a direct ambulance. While you are talking on the phone, like any private doctor for tourists, the emergency services will always address you in English, so not speaking Dutch is not an issue.
The same person on the emergency line will help you and assess you to see if you need their services or not, and what type of service. All of which you will have to pay.
If you are from outside the European Union, you will have to pay for any medical service you get in the Netherlands, no matter what it is. If you are from the European Union, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland, you will also have to pay, even if you have the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
Why do you have to pay? Well, I had the same issue the first time I went to a hospital in the Netherlands. The EHIC works in a way that allows you as an EU citizen to have the same rights the citizens of the country you are currently visiting have. When in Spain, since the Spanish health system is free, you won’t have to pay. When in the Netherlands, since Dutch people have to pay a private health insurance, you will have to pay too for these services.
If you have contracted a travel insurance, most of them will definitely cover any expenses of a hospital in Amsterdam or even the private tourist doctor consultation.
Once you have been taken care of and it is the moment to leave the hospital or when the ambulance can go, you will be asked to pay for these services. If you have an insurance, they will give you a receipt with all the information they need to reimburse your money some months later, after you have presented the documents to them. In any case, you will have to pay on the spot for any medical service that you get.
FAQ: Medical Cost and other Issues
- Do I have to pay even if I have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)?
Yes, according to the EU, any EU member in possession of a valid EHIC is enabled to receive the same exact treatment as the citizens from the country they are visiting. If the country provides free services, they will be free for you. However, if like the Netherlands, citizens pay privately for these services, you will have to do so too.
- Can I just call a Tourist Doctor?
Yes, although, in my experience, it is better to ask the reception of your hotel in case they can contact them or need any information beforehand. If you have a Dutch health insurance that is not possible. If you have a private travel insurance, then yes.
- Are there 24 hour Pharmacies?
Yes, although most pharmacies are closed by 6pm, there will always be an open one and there are also pharmaceutical services inside hospitals. If you have a prescription, you can go to OLVG Apotheek or Linnaeus Apotheek. If you need a mild drug such as ibuprofen 400g or some cream, cough syrup and so on, you can go to any supermarket (AH mostly), ETOS or Kruidvat because they will sell them.
- How does the travel insurance cover the cost for an Amsterdam doctor?
On the spot, you will have to pay the bill. The insurance is the following step, once you have paid for any of these services you will get a receipt and that is what you should present to your insurance so that they will give you your money back. Each insurance works differently but that is what I have experienced.
- How can I contact an emergency dentist?
Same as you can contact an emergency private doctor for tourists, you can contact an emergency dentist for tourists. Some of the most famous ones are Dental365 (where you can call them or make an appointment online every day of the week or just walk in), OLVG, where they also offer dental service besides medical ones 24/7 and Lassustandartsen, for 7 days a week also walk ins and online appointments.
- How much does a Tourist Doctor Visit cost?
If you have a tourist doctor visiting you at your hotel or Airbnb in Amsterdam, expect to pay between 50 and 150 euros for the service. This depends on the doctor you contact, the service they provide, the time of the day and the day of the week. Amsterdam is a very expensive city and this is a private service, therefore, that is the minimum you can expect to pay for this type of service.
- What if I live in the Netherlands, can I call a tourist doctor?
If you have lived in the country less than 3 months, you can call a tourist doctor. If you have lived in the country for longer than 3 months, you are registered or you are working in the Netherlands, you cannot contact them and have to call an ambulance or go to the hospital. Theses costs should be covered by your Dutch health insurance and you will be asked to see proof of it before you even see a doctor.