Do you have to change GPs when you move?

In the Netherlands, a general practitioner is usually an important person for a family. It is often the first point of contact for families when a family member suffers from physical or mental complaints. The GP can also offer some help with other problems at home or at your children's school.

When you move to another city, you will of course need a new doctor. Of course you have certain care wishes and you would of course want to switch to a good general practitioner. Such a different doctor will probably not immediately feel familiar and that is why this is so important.

But how exactly does searching as a new patient for practices and a GP work? Can you go somewhere for this? And is it like with your health insurer that you can only switch at the end of December?

At Moving we can help you with moving, your new insurer, but also with a new GP. In this article we therefore try to explain as well as possible what the situation is with your GP and what exactly you should do when you move. We therefore hope that you find this information useful and that it can help you move. Move with peace of mind!s

In the Netherlands it is not mandatory to register with a general practitioner. It is of course recommended by the government and your health insurer to do this. For example, in an emergency situation there is always a GP or out-of-hours medical center when you need care. In this way, everything about your health problems and medication use is neatly kept in a file that no one can access without permission from you or the doctor.

Report change of address to doctor

If you continue to live in the same neighborhood or city, you can of course continue to be registered with your GP. In this case, you only need to pass on your change of address.

Changing GP

When you move house, it is sometimes necessary to change doctors. You are moving and as you have read before, it is important that you do not live too far from your (old) practice. You can therefore always change your GP in the Netherlands and you do not have to wait until the end of the year, as with your health insurance.

Register with a doctor

Do you still have a GP and do you want to register now? Then you can find a doctor in your area online via various websites. Dutch law states that you are free to choose your own GP.

However, it is wise that you choose a GP practice that is not too far from you today. As a rule of thumb, it is always said to choose a practice that you can reach by car within 15 minutes.

Change GP, but he can refuse you

The new GP may refuse you in certain situations. This can be when:

  • You live too far from the GP practice
  • The doctor's office is full
  • If the doctor cannot comply with your care wishes. Consider, for example, euthanasia.

Is the practice full or are there still places available?

Do you need or want to change your GP? Always inform yourself well first. For example, is it an independent GP or is the GP in a care center with several GPs? Changing GP also means that as a new patient you first have to see if there is room.

Does the GP practice want to hire you?

You must register yourself with your doctor. It is also important to inform the GP assistant at which pharmacy you are registered. It may also be necessary to switch to a certain pharmacy closer to you.

Register yourself with the old GP

As soon as you are registered as a patient with the new GP, you can deregister yourself as a patient with your old GP. You can do this in writing, by telephone or modeling. When deregistering, always indicate when you will switch and why you actually switched to the other GP.

Transfer of files

As you have been able to read, it is imperative that when you switch to a new general practitioner that you ensure that your medical file is forwarded. Of course, the new doctor should be made aware of your medical history and medications. And of course a medical file is required for this.

Your medical file with the new general practitioner

Your current GP or GP assistant can send your files to the new GP. As you have read before, this can be done in different ways, but it might be useful to ask the new practice how they prefer this so that the old GP can take this into account.

Make a complaint about a doctor

Sometimes, in addition to a move, there is of course another reason that you want to change your GP. Your health insurer probably wants to hear this first, but do you have complaints about doctors or other healthcare providers such as a physiotherapist and do you want to submit them? Then you can submit a complaint about this.

You should of course first discuss your complaint with your GP. Can't figure it out together? Then you can submit a request to submit your complaint to the complaints officer of the GP practice. This is completely free and the mediator will start the conversation with you and the doctor.

Are you still not getting along after this? Then you can contact the national disputes committee for general practitioners (SKGE) or the disputes committee DOKh. For further investigation, you can also submit your complaint to the Regional Disciplinary Colleague for Health Care. This is often necessary when, for example, the doctor has defaulted. Still not finding a solution? Then you can still go to the civil/civil court.

Frequently Asked Questions

How far can you live from your GP?

The rule of thumb is that a patient should maintain a travel time of no more than 15 minutes.

How to report a move to a doctor?

Have you already found a new GP and are they accepting new patients? Then inform the old GP. This can be verbally, by telephone or by e-mail. The old GP will then send your file to the new GP.

Is a GP obliged to hire you?

A GP may refuse you as a patient if the practice is full, you live too far from the practice today or if you do not have the same views on euthanasia, for example.

What if all GPs are full?

In this case you can still contact your health insurer. This can help you find a new doctor.

Can you go to another doctor?

It is possible to visit another doctor, but this is certainly not useful with regard to your medical file.