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Health matters


If you need a dentist, please contact the information desk at the Department of Dentistry at the faculty of Medical Science for an appointment. You must pay cash for a consultation. Remember to check whether dental care is included in your insurance package. If it is, ask for a receipt in order to get a refund from your insurance company later. If you are here for a long period of time and need a simple check-up be aware that you will be placed on a waiting list, meaning that it may take a couple of weeks before you get an appointment. However, you will be given an appointment immediately for emergency dental care.

Please note that the Dutch basic healthcare insurance does not cover dental care. In order to be covered (partly) for dental care, you will have to take out an additional package.

Department of Dentistry ( Centrum voor Tandheelkunde en Mondzorgkunde )
Antonius Deusinglaan 1
9713 AV Groningen
Opening hours: Monday to Thursday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Friday 8 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Appointments by tel. + 31 (0)50 363 75 05*
Emergency telephone number (only after 5 p.m.): +31 (0)50 535 03 70

* Note: Answering machine is only in Dutch! When you call you will get the options menu. Do not hang up, you will be automatically connected to a receptionist.

General Practitioners

For medical problems you can consult a general practitioner or family doctor. In the Netherlands a general practitioner (GP) or family doctor is called a 'huisarts'. GPs can be visited during consulting hours, after making an appointment by telephone. We strongly advise you to register with a GP as soon as possible. To find one you can ask your neighbours or your student manager for advice.

Please take notice of the following:

  • In the Netherlands you are not permitted to go directly to the hospital unless it is an emergency. If treatment by a specialist is needed, you should first consult a GP, who will give you a referral letter. Remember to make a photocopy of the referral letter for your medical insurance company.
  • Remember to take your insurance papers with you whenever you visit a GP, dentist, hospital or pharmacy.
  • Do not forget to make an appointment before going to any GP surgery.

After-hours GP service: Doktersdienst Groningen

GPs share duties after working hours. Should you urgently need the help of a GP at night, during the weekend or on public holidays, you should call the Doktersdienst Groningen. In most cases, they will ask you to come over for a consultation.

Doktersdienst Groningen
Van Swietenplein 2B, 9728 NZ Groningen (to the left of the main entrance of the Martini Hospital)
Tel: 0900 - 92 29* (€0,10 per minute). Keep your insurance card at hand when you call!

* Note: In case of an emergency, call 112.

Hospital and emergencies

Every hospital provides first-line care in the event of an accident or emergency. However, in the Netherlands it is not usual to go to the hospital for minor symptoms like headaches or stomach aches. Therefore, unless you have a serious symptom you should always first go to your general practitioner (GP). The reason for this is that emergency rooms are very expensive and, if your condition is not life threatening, you will be sent to your GP anyway. However, if your GP thinks it is necessary for you to go to the hospital he or she will give you a referral for the proper specialist.  

At the hospital, look for the entrance marked EHBO or Eerste Hulp (First Aid). The first time you go to a hospital to see a specialist or to have tests or emergency treatment, remember to take your insurance papers with you. Tell the staff at the reception desk that you are a new patient. The hospital will then register your details and give you a plastic card (ponsplaatje), which you must show each time you attend the hospital.

Groningen has two hospitals

University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG)
Universitair Medisch Centrum Groningen
Hanzeplein 1, 9713 GZ Groningen
Tel + 31 (0)50 361 61 61

Martini Hospital
Martini Ziekenhuis
Van Swietenplein 1, 9728 NX Groningen
Tel + 31 (0)50 524 52 45


In the Netherlands there is a difference between a pharmacy (apotheek) and a drugstore (drogist). If the doctor or specialist gives you a prescription for medication, you must take it to a pharmacy. A drugstore only sells toiletries and drugs for minor complaints such as headaches, toothache, colds and flu that do not require a prescription. Strong medication is only available on prescription and is prepared at a pharmacy. Each area of the city has at least one pharmacy. Pharmacies observe regular office hours, but the central pharmacy opposite the main entrance of the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) is open 24 hours a day.

Importing Medication

Visitors should be aware that not all medication may be brought into the Netherlands. Some medication may not be recognized as such and may even be classified as drugs. Most common medication can be bought in the Netherlands. For other medication, your doctor will issue a prescription to take to a pharmacy.

Pharmacy Hanzeplein (Apotheek Hanzeplein )
Hanzeplein 122
9713 GW Groningen
tel: + 31 (0)50 311 50 20
fax: + 31 (0)50 311 50 21
Apotheek Hanzeplein (in Dutch)

* Remember to take your insurance papers with you whenever you visit a GP, dentist, hospital or pharmacy.

Psychological help

For psychological help you need to consult your GP. Your GP will give you a referral letter to take with you to a psychologist. Most GPs cooperate with one or more psychologists and can advise you whom to contact.

Please note that your insurance company may not cover psychological help. Please contact your insurance company for more information.

Last modified:24 September 2020 07.01 a.m.