Health care

Are you an undocumented migrant in need of medical care? Even when you have no legal permit to stay you have the right to health care in The Netherlands. For all non-emergency care your point of contact is a General Practitioner (Dutch: ‘huisarts’) in your area of residence. Even if you don’t have enough money to pay for the care, the doctor may not refuse to provide you with necessary health care. His costs can be compensated by the government via the ‘Centraal Administratie Kantoor’ (CAK).

Please note: If you need medication and your doctor gives you a prescription, make sure she or he writes ‘Noodfonds Amsterdam‘ , ‘CAK‘, country of origin and her or his initials on the prescription paper.

I think I have Corona, what can I do?
If you have one or more of the following complaints, only you need to stay home: 
1. coughing, 2. sneezing, 3. snot in your nose, 4. sore throat.

Advice for people who have a fever or trouble breathing: Stay Home. Everyone living with you has to stay home as well. Contact your General Practitioner or Kruispost for advice (020-6249031).

Everyone who resides in the Netherlands and has complaints can have themselves tested for Corona by the GGD, also undocumented people. You can call the national call center 0800-1202 to register for a test and indicate that you do not have a BSN. It is important that you provide a telephone number which can be reached easily. 

Results are given by telephone. The national call center tries to call three times when the results are known. If you cannot be reached after calling three times, a letter will be sent to the address provided.

> sometimes the national call center asks you if you consulted your General Practioner. If you don’t have a GP you could be denied to do the test. If so, call Kruispost to discuss your complaints with them. We also heard that they could insist that you should give a BSN. If so, use this number 999999999 (this information is from the GGD Amsterdam).

If you are homeless and you have complaints you can call the GGD number: 020-8008999. Homeless people are placed in quarantine locations in Amsterdam.

I am new in town and I do not have a doctor. Where can I go?
If you do not have a doctor, you can visit the Kruispost, this is a place where voluntary doctors work. The Kruispost provides medical and psychosocial care to uninsured and undocumented people in Amsterdam. Uninsured are asked for a donation, people who do have an insurance will be asked to pay the full consultation fee (general rate).

I am undocumented and have serious heart problems. What can I do if I suddenly need emergency help?    
In case of emergency you can go to any hospital or call 112 for an ambulance on the spot. If in doubt call your General Practitioner or the Centrale Huisartsenpost / Central Family Doctors’ service: After 17.00 and at the weekend 088-0030600

I am undocumented and have toothache and can hardly chew any more. Can I go to a dentist?   
Yes you can go to a dentist but patients over 18 years of age have to pay themselves. In practice this causes many problems because dentists’ bills are high. Dentists can only declare costs for children under 18 years old and then only up to a maximum of 80%. 

I was told I had to pay for a treatment in the Hospital, is this true?
If there has been a referral to a specialist you have a right to an appointment and to any resulting treatment. If this falls within the coverage of basic healthcare the hospital can declare most of the costs  to CAK. In Amsterdam the hospitals OLVG (East & West) and AMC, VuMC have contracts with CAK. In an emergency you can go to any hospital.

I am undocumented and pregnant and I need a midwife. What can I do?     
You can make an appointment with a midwife (when you are at least 3 months pregnant). If the patient cannot pay the bill the midwife can claim up to a maximum of 100% of the costs back from CAK. Pregnant women are entitled to shelter from 6 weeks before the due date of delivery until the baby is 6 weeks old.

My child doesn’t have a valid residence permit and she is sick. Can I take her to the doctor?   
Yes, everyone has the right to essential medical care (this is the same amount of care included in the basic Dutch healthcare insurance). So, you can make an appointment with a General Practioner (huisarts). If the patient is unable to pay, the doctor can claim a reimbursement of up to 80% of the costs from CAK. 

Up to the age of 5 children are entitled to free checkups at the OKT (parent-child teams of the city).  

> Medical personnel are bound by professional confidentiality and may not give any information to the police.

I need medication but I can’t pay for it. I can’t take out health insurance because I do not have a valid residence permit. What can I do? 
Take your prescription to one of the chemists which are contracted to CAK (there are 5 in Amsterdam, please check the link of the CAK website). They can claim a refund for most of the costs of medication which falls within the basic package. 

I am not accepted by a General Practitioner and need help in accessing healthcare, what can I do?
If the doctor doesn’t know the right to health care please show her or him this website:
Doctors of the World mediates in accessing medical care. If you have questions you can leave a message at the Helpdesk: 020-7653801 or send an e-mail to

Dokters van de Wereld also has a ‘Zorgbus’ (Care Bus) driving around in the city.

Note: They are there for you, for small needs and care and can help you getting access to the healthcare you are entitled to.