UTRECHT – Dr. Marieanne van Erp of Dokters van de Wereld talks how to access basic health care and services to Filipinos on Sunday 25 January 2020. Organised by Migrante Utrecht, Dr. Erp highlighted the following:

1. Everyone has the right to medical care

2. General Practitioner (GP)
A General Practitioner or also called GP is the immediate contact person when you have health problems. Everyone needs to be registered with a GP and you should be registered with the GP in your area. It is also advisable to stay with the same GP as much as possible to be better advised you as they have your previous medical records.

Please note that due to date protection laws in the European Union your records are stricly confidential and cannot be shared with any offices or agencies with your consent or court procedures.

When you visit a GP, you are given 10 minutes for your consultation so remember to be on time and cancel your appointments when necessary 24 hours ahead or else you will have to pay a penalty. Prepare for your visit and bring a translator with you if you have difficulty communicating either in Dutch or English. 

Do not pretend to be someone else as it is a criminal offence to do so.  You will be referred to a specialist or another clinic or hospital depending on the need.

3. Health Insurance
In the Netherlands you only can get a health insurance if you have valid residence permit or BSN. In principle you have to pay for your own medical care, directly or in steps. If are undocumented migrant and cannot pay for healthcare, certain care-provider have the rights to reimbursement of irrecoverable costs. This system was created mainly for refugees so they will have access to health care, unfortunately this is mostly being abused especially by those who could afford.

4. Medicines
After seeing a GP, you will be referred to a pharmacy contracted by CAK. In principle you need to pay EUR 5 per prescription.

5, Hospital
You can only visit hospitals with the referral from a GP. For undocumented migrants or without health insurance you should as for a hospital that is contracted by CAK.

6. Emergency Care
Never go to the hospital right away. GP works even on evenings or weekends too. Please check available GP in your area.

7. Midwife and Child Care
Anyone who is pregnant must have medical care in the Netherlands. You must go after 9 week, you have right to basic care. You must register your baby within three days after birth. So the child will receive proper health care like vaccinations, school access. You must not be afraid. There is no contact between the doctors and the police or immigration officials.

It is also very important NOT to fake register by registering a different name for your child because of fear. The Identity of the child must be protected for legal purpose.  For new born babies, you can go to consultatiebureaus to access more information. You must register the children with you GP.

8. Infectious Diseases
Free testing and screening with GGD and Community Health Center for TB, STI, HIV, etc.

9. Dentist
Dentist visits or care are not covered by CAK unless it is severe cases. Children until 18 years of age can reclaim a portion of the cost from CAK. Paying installation is possible.

10. Psychological Complaints
If you need counselling, you can get up to 18 counselling treatments per year for free.

11. STIL Utrecht
STIL Utrecht is an foundation for people without residence permit. They prove help and assistance including daily meals if need be.  You may contact them via the information below:

Address: Laan van Guinea 143, Utrecht
Telephone: 030 271 34 63
Website: https://www.stil-utrecht.nl/
Email: info@stil-utrecht.nl  

Doctors of the World, is part of the international Médecins du Monde network. 
Together with 15 other delegations, they stand up for the universal right to health, both at home and abroad, with the main focus being access to healthcare for people who are excluded from it.

The foundation of Doctors of the World is strongly built on volunteers. Together with involved medical professionals, active members, young talent and permanent employees, we actively promote the right to health.

To read more about the work they do, please visit this link: https://doktersvandewereld.org/

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