Moving from the UK to the Netherlands means getting to know a different healthcare system, but issues related to pensions, for example, may be similar.
Healthcare in the Netherlands is financed by Dutch health insurance, which is mandatory. Not paying it may lead to retroactive bills and also to fines. However, you can choose the centre and type of insurance package. What you need to register:
It is also worth having all the prior medical records in your documents. Remember that many doctors speak English well.
Dutch healthcare is of high quality and comparable to healthcare in other Western European countries. They even have a system for rating doctors and specialists. If you are looking for a specialist, ratings and comments will help you with this.
There are diagnostic laboratories and specialists in all areas. The hospitals are well equipped, there are maternity hospitals and many other clinics. There is at least one hospital in every bigger city. Small towns always have a local doctor who can help you. There is an emergency line at weekends and evenings where you can call to contact a doctor.
Most medicines are available in pharmacies and sometimes even in supermarkets. However, some of them are different brands than medicines used in other countries, and prices are generally higher. If you are not sure whether they will contain a particular substance, we recommend taking your medical documentation to a pharmacy.
If you need medical help, call the emergency services on 112 (police, fire brigade and emergency service). You can call this number free of charge from any phone. The medical emergency service itself (including an ambulance) is not for free.
The Dutch medical sector is based on a referral system in which patients must first go to their local doctor. Medical specialists usually only accept patients who have been referred to them by a general practitioner. Make sure that you are insured, otherwise, you will have to pay the entire bill. It is recommended that you check the cost estimate first before using medical services. It is also important to call your doctor to make an appointment.
If you receive a pension or an invalidity pension in the UK, you may be entitled to state-funded healthcare paid by the UK. You must apply for an S1 form from the International Pension Centre. If you are a pensioner, it is highly advisable to inform the IPC when you move to the Netherlands. You must register your S1 with an office in the Netherlands – this entitles you to an EHIC issued by the UK, which allows you to access healthcare in other EEA countries – including the UK.
The Netherlands has agreements for the avoidance of double taxation with the UK, so you will not be taxed twice – as long as the tax offices know about your situation.
You can receive your pension payment directly into your bank account in the Netherlands – and continue to receive increases as if you were living in the UK. Contact HMRC and pension providers w long before moving from the UK to the Netherlands.
If you have worked, lived or you are still working abroad, you must apply for a state pension through the competent authority in the country where you live and work.