Healthcare in the Netherlands ranks amongst the best in the world, giving people access to the most advanced treatments and preventative care. Some things, however, may be arranged in a different way than you are used to. A key to Dutch curative (or medical) healthcare is the General Practitioner (GP) or family doctor (‘huisarts’) who is your first contact for all medical questions and issues. A Dutch GP has received 3 years of specialist training after a basic 6-year medical education. They are trained specialists in treating the most common complaints. It is not possible to visit a medical specialist without a referral from a GP. Dutch medical specialists treat more complicated cases, whereas the GP is trained to treat less complicated complaints and to determine what specialist(s) to consult if so needed.
For much more on the Dutch healthcare system take a look on Network Healthcare for Internationals