General information regarding the doctors’ surgery
If you urgently need a GP in the evening, at night, at the weekend or on a bank holiday, you can contact the out of hours doctors’ surgery. This is sometimes called the emergency GP surgery. The out of hours doctors’ surgery is a collaboration between GPs in your area. Many out of hours doctors’ surgeries are open on weekdays from 5.00 in the afternoon to 8.00 the following morning. At weekends and on national public holidays they are usually open the whole day (24 hours).
With almost all out of hours doctors’ surgeries it is necessary to contact them first by telephone. If you come in without an appointment you might be refused or asked to come back later. When you ring the out of hours doctors’ surgery, a triagist (e.g. a receptionist) will answer your call. The triagist determines how urgent your case is and may give you an appointment for you to be seen. Even if you have an appointment, you may still have to wait. More urgent patients may have to be dealt with first.
The triagist determines the urgency of your case by asking you a number of questions. Based on your answers the triagist will decide how to help you further with your case. You may be helped in various ways:
- You are given self-help advice
- You are put in telephone contact with a doctor or a doctor will ring you back
- You are given an appointment to come into the out of hours doctors’ surgery
- A GP will visit you in your home
- You will be picked up in an ambulance
First go through the digital self-assessment of Moet Ik Naar De Dokter? (Do I Have to Go to the Doctor?) before you ring the out of hours doctors’ surgery. With the digital self-assessment you get immediate advice on whether or not you must contact the out of hours doctors’ surgery. You may in fact not have to come in. If you been in contact with the out of hours doctors’ surgery, the next day your own GP will be informed that you have had contact.
There is no need for you to contact the out of hours doctors’ surgery if:
- Your complaint is not urgent and it can wait until your own GP practice is open again
- You don’t have any time during the day to visit your own GP
- You would like a second opinion
If your medication has run out, you will normally obtain a repeat prescription from your own GP. If you urgently need new medication, you can also obtain a repeat prescription from the GP at the out of hours doctors’ surgery. The medication that will be prescribed to you will then be enough to last you until your own GP’s next surgery hours.
Is there a charge for visiting an out of hours doctors’ surgery?
There is a charge for visiting an out of hours doctors’ surgery. If you are insured, the cost will be reimbursed by your health insurance provider. At the out of hours doctors’ surgery, if you cannot show that you are insured, you will often have to pay for your treatment at the out of hours doctors’ surgery. You can still reclaim the amount from your health insurance provider later. This also applies to foreign tourists who are on holiday or visiting. The charges for a visit to the out of hours doctors’ surgery are set. You will find these charges on the website of the Nederlandse Zorgautoriteit (NZa, Dutch Health Authority).