Private Hospitals in the Netherlands: A 2024 Guide for Expats

Sofia Van Dirk

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Navigating the healthcare landscape of a new country can be a daunting task, especially when the nuances of language and culture come into play. For expats and tourists who are accustomed to certain amenities or need English-speaking services, understanding the role of private hospitals in The Netherlands becomes essential.

In this article, we aim to shed light on private hospitals within the Dutch healthcare framework. We’ll delve into the benefits they offer, potential drawbacks, and give you guidance on making informed choices for your health needs.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Netherlands offers a blend of public and private hospitals, with the latter offering personalized care and shorter wait times.
  • Choosing a private hospital requires considerations of cost, accreditation, language proficiency, and the specific treatment needed.
  • Being prepared with relevant documents and understanding the hospital’s policies ensures a smoother experience.
  • Several notable private hospitals in the Netherlands cater to diverse needs, from elective surgeries to specialized treatments.
  • It’s crucial to conduct thorough research and gather feedback before settling on a specific private hospital.

Why Choose a Private Hospital?

When faced with medical concerns, one of the fundamental decisions is where to seek treatment. In the Netherlands, both public and private hospitals offer high-quality care, yet the two can offer different experiences. Here’s an exploration of the benefits and potential shortcomings of opting for private healthcare:


One of the highlights of private hospitals is the tailored approach to treatment. Patients often receive individualized attention, ensuring that their unique health needs are meticulously addressed.

A hallmark of private healthcare is efficiency. Waiting times for consultations, treatments, and surgeries tend to be significantly shorter than in public healthcare facilities. This means quicker access to necessary procedures and faster paths to recovery.

Many private hospitals invest heavily in cutting-edge medical equipment and technology. This commitment ensures patients have access to some of the latest medical advancements and innovations.

Beyond just medical care, private hospitals often focus on the overall patient experience. This can translate to private rooms, upscale amenities, gourmet meals, and other comforts that make a hospital stay more pleasant.

For those who don’t speak Dutch, language can be a barrier in healthcare settings. Private hospitals, catering to an international clientele, are more likely to offer services in English and possibly other languages. This ensures clear communication, which is paramount in medical scenarios.


One of the primary considerations when opting for private healthcare is the expense. Treatment in private hospitals can come with a heftier price tag compared to public healthcare.

While the Netherlands has a robust health insurance system, not all policies provide full coverage for treatments in private hospitals. It’s crucial to thoroughly understand your insurance particulars to avoid unexpected financial burdens.

Although the number of private hospitals is growing, they are still fewer in number compared to public hospitals. Depending on where one resides, it might necessitate traveling some distance to access a private facility.

Things to Consider Before Choosing a Private Hospital

Making the decision to opt for a private hospital in the Netherlands is only the beginning. There are several critical factors to take into account to ensure that you not only get the best medical treatment but also have a smooth and hassle-free experience. Here’s what to keep in mind:

Coverage and Costs

Before any treatment or procedure, familiarize yourself with the extent of your insurance coverage. What treatments or procedures are covered? Are there any caps or limits to the coverage?

Even with extensive insurance, there might be additional costs that are not covered. These could include certain medications, specialized treatments, or extra amenities. Always ask for a detailed breakdown of potential costs to be well-prepared financially.

Accreditation and Reputation

A hospital’s accreditation is a testament to its commitment to quality and international standards of care. Look for accreditation from renowned organizations which can be an assurance of the hospital’s adherence to global healthcare norms.

The experiences of past patients can offer a wealth of knowledge. Online platforms, expat forums, or even personal recommendations can be invaluable in assessing the quality of care and overall patient satisfaction.

Language Proficiency

Effective communication is critical, especially in medical settings. Ensure that the hospital has English-speaking staff or, if necessary, translators to prevent any miscommunication during treatments and consultations.

Type of Treatment

Depending on your medical needs, you might require a facility with specific specialties or expertise. Not all private hospitals may offer the same range of services, so research is key to finding a hospital that can cater to your particular needs.

Related: Cost of Living in the Netherlands

How to Find a Private Hospital in the Netherlands

The Netherlands has a meticulously structured healthcare system. But how does one sift through the myriad options to find a suitable private hospital, especially when you’re not native to the land or fluent in the language? Here’s a step-by-step guide to assist you:

Online Directories and Recommendations

Many websites offer comprehensive lists of private hospitals in the Netherlands, complete with reviews, specializations, and contact details. Utilizing these directories can give you a clear starting point.

Additionally, online platforms dedicated to expatriates often have forums where members share their experiences and recommendations, providing invaluable first-hand insights.

Expatriate Communities and Forums

Connecting with fellow expatriates can be a treasure trove of information. These communities often share their personal experiences, provide recommendations, and even offer advice on navigating the Dutch healthcare system. Websites like Expatica or local expat meet-up groups can be particularly beneficial.

Consulting with Your Home Country’s Embassy

Embassies often maintain lists of healthcare providers, including private hospitals, where services are offered in English or other common languages. They can provide a reliable reference point, especially for those new to the Netherlands.

Personal Recommendations

Word of mouth remains a powerful tool. If you have friends, colleagues, or acquaintances in the Netherlands, ask them for their experiences or recommendations. Personal stories can provide a more nuanced understanding of what to expect.

Important Tips When Using a Private Hospital

Here are some essential tips to keep in mind when using a private hospital:

Always Carry Relevant Medical and Insurance Documents

Medical history, previous diagnoses, prescriptions, and other relevant health documents should always be on hand. These provide the medical staff with vital insights into your health background.

Having your insurance documentation readily available can also expedite admission processes and ensure that billing and coverage matters are handled efficiently.

Be Clear About Costs Upfront

To prevent unexpected bills and financial surprises, always inquire about the estimated costs before undergoing any treatment or procedure. It’s advisable to get these estimates in writing, which can serve as a reference if discrepancies arise.

Understand the Hospital’s Policies and Patient Rights

Each hospital might have its own set of policies regarding patient care, visitation rights, discharge procedures, and more. Familiarizing yourself with these can help avoid misunderstandings and ensure you’re aware of your rights as a patient.

Seek Feedback from Other Patients

If possible, try to connect with other patients or their families. Their feedback on the care received, staff responsiveness and overall experience can provide a more comprehensive picture of what to expect.

Ensure Clear Communication

Given the potential language barriers, always ensure you fully understand any medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment plan. Don’t hesitate to ask questions or request clarifications. If needed, inquire if the hospital provides translation services or if you can bring along a translator.

Stay Updated with Your Home Country

In some scenarios, it might be necessary to relay medical information back to doctors or specialists in your home country. Keep them updated, especially if you’re receiving treatment for a condition previously diagnosed elsewhere.

A Look at Some Notable Private Hospitals in the Netherlands

private hospitals in the netherlands

Whether it’s a state-of-the-art facility in the heart of Amsterdam or a tranquil retreat in the outskirts, there’s a range of options catering to diverse needs. Let’s explore some of the standout private hospitals in the Netherlands:

Bergman Clinics

Location: Multiple locations, including Amsterdam, The Hague, and Utrecht.

Specializations: Renowned for its focus on elective procedural care, Bergman Clinics offers treatments in areas like ophthalmology, orthopedics, and cosmetic surgery.

Features: The clinics emphasize a patient-first approach with personalized care plans and modern facilities.

Webiste: Bergman Clinics

Equipe Zorgbedrijven

Location: Various facilities across the country.

Specializations: A fast-growing chain, Equipe is noted for its expertise in orthopedics, plastic surgery, and dermatology.

Features: With a focus on quality and innovation, Equipe Zorgbedrijven often leads in introducing new surgical techniques and approaches in the Netherlands.

Website: Equipe Zorgbedrijven

Utrecht’s Private Clinic (Utrechtse Stadskliniek)

Location: Utrecht.

Specializations: Provides a range of medical services with a particular emphasis on skin care, cosmetic procedures, and general internal medicine.

Features: A modern establishment, it promises quick services without long waiting times and an emphasis on patient satisfaction.

Website: Utrecht’s Private Clinic

Medisch Centrum Jan van Goyen

Location: Amsterdam.

Specializations: An expertise center for several specialisms including dermatology, radiology, aesthetic plastic surgery, and phlebology.

Features: With its central location, the center attracts both locals and international patients. The clinic offers personalized treatments in a comfortable setting.

Website: Medisch Centrum Jan van Goyen

Related: New To The Netherlands: Everything You Need To Know (2023)

ABOUT Sofia Van Dirk

Sofia van Dijk is our resident Relocation Expert at Born and raised in the Netherlands, Sofia possesses extensive knowledge of Dutch culture, local customs, and the practicalities of living in this unique country. She studied International Relations at the University of Amsterdam and spent several years working for an international relocation company before joining our team.

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