Which care do you have a right to?
You can see this per subject.
All children in the Netherlands have the right to dental health care, you too. You are a child until the age of 18. This means that you have a right to the most common dental treatments. These include, for instance:
- Check-up (there is a check-up to see whether everything is OK once a year, or more often if required).
- Anaesthetic if the dentist needs to, for instance, fill a cavity.
- Fillings, crowns or bridge if you, for instance, have a cavity.
- Fluoride treatment.
- Removing scale.
- Root canal treatment.
Braces are almost never paid for, only in case of serious complaints, For instance if your teeth are very crooked because of which you have difficulty eating.
Everyone gets the same help
If you are pregnant, you get the same care as a Dutch person. In any case, the following is paid for:
- Help of an obstetrician concerning the birth. An obstetrician is someone who helps during the whole pregnancy. He or she, for instance, checks whether the baby is growing properly and whether the mother is feeling alright. You can always ask the obstetrician questions about the pregnancy. Obstetricians give you extra help when you are pregnant. This is agreed.
- Watching echoes to see whether the baby is healthy. You get an echo twice: at 12 weeks pregnancy and at 20 weeks pregnancy.
- A blood test to see whether the mother is healthy.
- A right to maternity care. You will then be visited by someone to help you with the care of the baby. Up to 10 days after the birth.
- If you are pregnant, you can request a maternity package. This includes things for the baby, such as a bottle and a dummy. You can do this from the information desk of the COA.
If you live in an asylum seekers centre, then you get money (once) to buy your own things. If you live in a COL, POL or AMV care location, the COA buys things for you.
If you aren’t feeling well mentally
Sometimes you feel bad mentally. This can have various causes. Sometimes because of what you have been through, for instance a war. Or you have been in prison. Sometimes you feel sad because you miss your family or you may feel sad because you are waiting for a residence permit.
You can then temporarily feel sad. You may not feel like getting up in the morning, you can no longer concentrate at school, you are always thinking about other things. Sometimes you can’t sleep well at night because you are worried.
It can then help to talk to someone. For instance with your parents, brother or sister or someone of your family. This can also be someone of school, for instance, a mentor. You can also talk to a consultant of mental health care of the GC A in the asylum seekers centre. He or she can talk to you about the past, about how you are feeling now and about how you can feel better again.
Mental health care consultants often talk with you if you are feeling sad or angry because of what happened to you. They can often help you get better. They also talk to children and youngsters.
You can also talk to someone from a mental health care institute outside the asylum seekers centre. For instance a psychologist or psychiatrist. These are people who know everything about mental health problems. You should choose a mental health care institute with a contract with the MCA. You can ask the GC A which institutes these are.
Glasses or contact lenses
If you can’t see properly
Perhaps you need glasses. Contact lenses are only paid for if glasses really don’t help.
Think you need glasses? Then you can go to an optician. This is someone who knows all about eyes and glasses and can measure whether you may need glasses. Standard glasses are paid for at Pearle Opticiens. Other opticians don’t have a contract, so you have to pay the bill yourself.
Hearing or a hearing aid
If you can’t hear properly
If you can’t hear properly, you can get help. Just like all other Dutch people. Perhaps you need a hearing aid or something else like surgery on your ear. You can get the following:
- A hearing test.
- An explanation about your hearing aid.
- Psychosocial help (such as a talk with a psychologist) if you are for instance suffering from the fact that you can’t hear/hear well.
You must first go to the general practitioner in the GC A. The general practitioner will examine what you need. Perhaps further tests or surgery. The general practitioner will then refer you to a specialist.
On doctor’s prescription
Sometimes you need medicine for some illnesses or complaints.
Some medicine can be bought yourself, for instance, paracetamol or aspirin. You have to buy this in the shop and pay for it yourself.
Most medicine can only be obtained on prescription. The doctor can write a prescription. This is a note that says which medicine you need. The doctor of the GC A can write a prescription or a doctor in a hospital, this is called a specialist. You then go to a pharmacy, where you buy the medicine. You give them your prescription and they give you the medicine.
What you should know:
- Most medicine is paid for, but not all. Sometimes part of it, sometimes all. If you want to know whether your medicine is paid for, then ask the doctor who prescribes this medicine in advance.
- Some pharmacies have a contract to help you. They made arrangements with the COA. Ask the COA which pharmacies these are. Only these pharmacies are given back their money.
- If you don’t do this, you may have to pay extra.
A general practitioner is a doctor.
If you are ill in the Netherlands you go to the general practitioner or the general practitioner’s practice. You are helped here by the doctor’s assistant, nurse or the general practitioner. They see which care you need or if you need other care. For instance a specialist or the hospital.
This also applies to you. The difference is that for you the GC A is the general practitioner’s practice. If you go to the general practitioner in the GC or call the GC A you will first be helped by the doctor’s assistant. This is also the way it goes for Dutch people.
Do you want to go to the general practitioner? You can go during the office hours. Ask the COA when these are.
You can also call. The number of the GC A practice line is 088-112 21 12.
Suffering from your muscles or bones
Do your muscles hurt or are your bones suffering? For instance in your back or neck? You can then go to a physiotherapist. He or she can help you loosen your muscles, through exercise or by learning to sit or walk differently. A physiotherapist can also help in other cases. For instance if you have broken a bone or sprained a muscle.
You have the right to nine treatments with the physiotherapist a year until you are 18.
Some physiotherapists have a contract to help you. They have made arrangements with the COA. Only these physiotherapists get their money back. The GC A knows which physiotherapists this concerns. Ask them. If you don’t, you may have to pay yourself.
If talking is difficult
Some children talk unclearly. Also in their mother tongue. They are hard to understand, for instance because they speak with a lisp. In the Netherlands children sometimes get help with this to learn speak more clearly. This help is provided by a speech therapist, who teaches you to use your mouth muscles differently so you can talk better.
Health care costs
Bills from the health care provider
If you live in an asylum seekers centre and you need to go to the hospital or a doctor, you don’t have to pay. You are insured for this. The health care provider (doctor or hospital) sends the bill on to Menzis COA Administration (MCA).
Some hospitals and specialists have a contract to help you. It’s important that you go here. They have made arrangements with the COA. Only these hospitals and specialists get their money back from the COA.
The GC A knows which hospitals and which specialists. Ask them.
If you don’t, you may have to pay yourself.
Got a bill anyway?
If you got a bill anyway, then send it on immediately to the declaration department of the MCA. The address is:
Menzis COA Administratie
t.a.v. declaraties RZA
6700 AK Wageningen
Faxing or sending an e-mail are also options.
Look for all contact details here.
You can also go to a speech therapist.
Some speech therapists have a contract to help you. They have made arrangements with the COA. Only these speech therapists get their money paid back. The GC A knows which speech therapists this concerns. Ask them. If you don’t, you may have to pay yourself.
If you are still suffering after nine treatments, then go to the doctor. This is the general practitioner of the GC A. You can then get permission for maximum nine additional treatments. You don’t have to pay for this yourself.
For instance the pill or an IUD
Contraception is also known as birth control. Examples include the pill, condoms or an IUD.
Birth control helps you not get pregnant when having sex.
All birth control is paid for you except for condoms.
If you want birth control then ask the practitioner of the GCA. You can choose what you want, for instance an IUD or the pill. The doctor writes a prescription that states which birth control you want. You take the prescription to the pharmacist, give it to them and they give you the birth control.
Suddenly things go wrong
If things suddenly go wrong and your health is in danger then you must immediately go to the emergency services in a hospital. For instance, you have fallen and are bleeding very badly, you are unconscious for a long time, you have very bad chest pain, etc.
What do you do if this happens in the asylum seekers centre? Let someone go to the information desk or security. Let them know you need a doctor urgently. They will call the ambulance or a doctor. If no one is at the information desk or security, then let someone immediately call 112.
If you are outside the asylum seekers centre when something bad happens, then go to the emergency department of the hospital yourself. The treatment is paid for you as the hospital can get this back. This is arranged via the Menzis COA Administration (MCA).