In cooperation with Healthcare for Internationals, the International Welcome Center North (IWCN) and Connect International conducted research investigating the experiences of internationals with Dutch healthcare during the summer of 2016 in the provinces Groningen, Friesland and Drenthe. Results of this research are of great importance for those parties dealing with internationals and wanting to make them feel at home in our country, such as employers, government authorities, healthcare providers and health insurance providers.
Experience with Dutch healthcare
The research shows five main areas for improvement:
- Trust that the doctor knows best which tests or treatment are best for me
- Perceived quality of the care
- Quick and easy access to specialist care
- Open mindedness and willingness of doctors
- Length of the consultation
There are several initiatives in the Netherlands to improve the healthcare for internationals. Examples are:
- One year ago, SGE international primary health care center opened its doors at Strijp-S, Eindhoven. SGE offers health care services aimed at answering the needs and questions of internationals.
- Supported by the Expat Center Amsterdam, healthcare provider SAG recently started training its professionals in how to better understand and meet the needs of patients with a foreign background.
- On 1 November about 20 internationals and professionals met to discuss the needs and expectations of internationals with regards to perinatal care. This includes all healthcare services that are concerned with conception, pregnancy, giving birth and care for mother and child. A team from different organisations is now working to define how perinatal care can better meet the needs and expectations of internationals as voiced below.
- On 15 December, Rotterdam Partners and Healthcare for Internationals (H4i) hosted a brainstorming event for internationals, healthcare providers, health insurance providers and others to explore possibilities to improve healthcare for internationals in the region Rotterdam. The participants identified needs, possible solutions as well as potential hurdles. As a next step, healthcare providers, the city of Rotterdam and H4i will jointly develop a business case.
- Healthcare for internationals (H4i) is a new network of organisations that aim to close the gap between Dutch healthcare and the needs and expectations of internationals. At this moment, SGE and International Health Services (IHS) together with a number of interested parties are formalising the establishment of the network Healthcare for internationals.
All initiatives aim to make Dutch healthcare better meet the needs and expectations of internationals.