In the asylum seekers centre
If you live in an asylum seekers centre, you can become ill. You may then go to the doctor or the hospital. You then go to the GC A (asylum seekers health centre) You can call them day and night. There are also interpreters here who can help translate your story. You can speak in your own language. There are also arrangements about what you have to pay. Here you can read exactly how care is arranged for you: Asylum seekers health centre (GC A)
To the doctorIf you are sick, you go to the doctor. The doctor gives medicine or advice. Or he sends you to a specialist (expert). Or sometimes to the hospital. This is also the case if you live in an asylum seekers centre. You then go to the GC A (asylum seekers health centre). At the GC A there are doctors who take care of all asylum seekers. They provide the same care for you that all Dutch people also get.
CostsIf you live in an asylum seekers centre, you don’t have to pay anything for the doctor, the hospital or medicine. The doctor decides who will help you further. Arrangements have also been made by the GC A with other doctors and hospitals. You can also go to another doctor. You will then, however, have to pay the costs yourself. Sometimes this is quite expensive.
In the asylum seekers centre or nearbySometimes the GC A is in the asylum seekers centre. Sometimes it’s in the neighbourhood. The GC A in the neighbourhood has consultation hours. You can visit without an appointment. You tell the doctor’s assistant why you want to see the doctor and he or she will help you. You must always bring your COA health care number. Sometimes the office hours have already ended or there aren’t any that day. You can then call the GC A practice line. Via this phone number you can always call the GZ A. The doctor and doctor’s assistant work here. They can help to make an appointment. This is how:
- You call the GC A practice line. The phone number is: 088 112 2 112. You say what’s wrong. This can be done 24 hours a day, any day of the week. The GC A member of staff will ask for your COA health care number. This is the number on your health care pass.
- The doctor’s assistant will help you with your question. If necessary, he or she will make an appointment for you with the doctor. It may be the next day. Sometimes it’s less urgent. Then it may be later in the week. Sometimes a nurse helps you. He or she also works with the doctor in the practice.
- It’s free of charge, also no personal contribution.
- You can watch a video about what happens when you call the GC A practice line.
Your Dutch isn’t very goodYou want to explain where you are hurting or what you are suffering from. This is quite difficult. At GC A you can always tell your story via an interpreter. An interpreter is someone who speaks your language, but also speaks good Dutch. He or she listens in to the conversation by phone. The interpreter explains your story to the doctor or nurse of the GC A and tells you what the doctor is saying. This way, you understand the doctor and the doctor understands you. The COA pays for the interpreter.
I can’t get an appointment with the doctor
The GC A has a doctor’s assistant and a nurse. They have had medical training and are allowed to treat certain complaints. They consult with the doctor every day. Sometimes they can help you, so you don’t see the doctor. This is very normal in the Netherlands. Also for other children and adults living in the Netherlands.If you don’t agree then tell them. Ask why you can’t speak to the doctor. If you’re still not satisfied, you can do the following:
- Say you want to talk about your illness with the doctor himself.
- Go to the COA to explain your problem. They can contact the GC A and can ask why you didn’t get an appointment with the doctor.
- If this doesn’t help, you can submit a complaint with the GC A. How to do this:
- Fill in a complaints form. Enter the following:
- Your name.
- Your health care number.
- The address of the asylum seekers centre where you live. With your phone number and e-mail address.
- Do you have any information of a contact? Also fill this in. This can be your parents, someone of the Dutch Council for Refugees or a school teacher.
- The date and time when you called or visited the GC A.
- An explanation of what happened and why you are complaining. You can also send an e-mail where you state your complaint, when it happened (date and time) and who you had contact with. Also write your health care number in the e-mail. And the asylum seekers centre you live in (with your address and phone number). Send your e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- You can also write a letter. Write down what your complaint is, when it happened (date and time) and who you had contact with. Write your name and signature at the bottom. Also write the date of the day when this happened in the letter. Within three weeks you should get an answer of the GC A.
Seeing another doctor yourselfYou can also visit another doctor if you want medical help fast and if you think this is very important. You will then have to pay all costs yourself and these can be quite high.
ComplainingIf all of this doesn’t help, you can submit a complaint with organisations that are independent of the doctor. These are the Dutch Foundation for Consumer Complaints Boards (Geschillencommissie), the Health Care Disciplinary Committee (Tuchtcollege voor de Gezondheidszorg) or the Health Care Inspectorate (Inspectie voor de Gezondheidszorg). There is an overview of what you can complain about on the website of Zorgbelang Nederland. You can also phone this organisation. You can ask where the best place is to file a complaint.
I am not satisfied about the doctorYou can be dissatisfied about your doctor. For instance because you had to wait too long or the doctor was rude to you. In these cases you can file a complaint. The law lays down that you and the doctor have an agreement that states that the doctor treats you properly. The doctor will do everything to make you better. You give permission for this, you pay the costs of the operation or treatment (in your case this is paid by your insurance). This is laid down in the Medical Treatment Agreement Act.
Complaining by writing a letterYou want to complain. You can ask the doctor’s assistant how to file a complaint or ask the COA to help you. In any case, you should do this:
- Write down in your letter what you are complaining about.
- Also mention the date when you went to the doctor.
- Write your name, signature and today’s date.