Conversations about healthcare in the Netherlands

In this episode, we discuss healthcare and giving birth in the Netherlands. Jolanda de Bie, a healthcare researcher, talks about three important aspects of Dutch healthcare: medical insurance, GP’s, and cultural expectations. Mari Gordon, a certified doula, goes over some common myths and misconceptions about giving birth in the Netherlands. We also hear from Amsterdam Mama Barbara Fine, about a surprising house visit.


In regard to the Dutch healthcare system, we discuss:

  • Why health insurance is mandatory
  • Basic insurance coverage and additional insurance options
  • What are the costs for children?
  • How to compare and shop for insurance plans
  • When you can change your insurance plan or company
  • How to find a GP
  • The role the GP plays in the Dutch healthcare system
  • What to do once you’ve found a GP in your neighborhood
  • The beauty and frustrations of the referral system
  • What the Consultatie Bureau does
  • Things to know to have a better experience in the Dutch healthcare system
  • Why the Netherlands is a low prescriber of antibiotics
  • What outcomes the Dutch healthcare system is geared towards


Giving birth in the Netherlands:

  • Do you have to give birth at home?
  • What is the kraampakket?
  • How many births take place at home in the Netherlands?
  • What are the options for pain medication?
  • Do you have to use a midwife? When can you use an OB?
  • How soon after giving birth do you get sent home?
  • Why is the kraamzorg so amazing?


Show Notes: 

Compare insurance providers and plans at Consumentenbond

Find a doctor at Zorgkaartnederland

The Birth Partner, by Peggy Simkin

Amsterdam Mamas articles:

 Choosing Health Care Insurance

Jolanda’s article: A Quick Guide to Healthcare in Amsterdam

Giving Birth in the Netherlands

Having a Baby in the Netherlands

Birth Stories Series 

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Donna Bardsley

Donna Bardsley is the travel-loving mother of three homebodies who hate to leave the house. After living in Amsterdam for six years, she has recently moved her family back to the US where she is experiencing all the joys of reverse culture shock.