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In the Dutch healthcare system, the general practitioner (GP) is your first point of contact for all questions about physical and mental health. For example about common issues you might face as a student, such as (student) stress and burnout, sports injuries, questions about sex etc. If you have social or financial questions, you can talk to the Neighbourhood Team (Buurtteam)

Since Utrecht is a real student city, nearly all GP surgeries register students. 

Register with a GP near you

You can register with a GP of your choice. 

It’s best to register with a GP in your own neighbourhood. This has two reasons. First, a local GP usually knows what care and support can be arranged in your area. Second, it’s convenient for a GP when patients live close to the surgery. In case of a home visit, for example, it saves time. All GP surgeries in the city of Utrecht are listed here (in Dutch). You can find GP ratings and reviews on the website of Zorgkaart Nederland (in Dutch). These are subjective, but they may help you a choose a GP in Utrecht.

If you need urgent care outside surgery hours, you can go to the out-of-hours GP service. 

Your GP may also refer your to other healthcare providers or to a hospital.

Out-of-hours GP service

On weekdays from 8am to 5pm you can contact your own GP if you have any health-related questions. On evenings and nights, weekends and public holidays you can call the out-of-hours GP service, but only in case of an emergency. The telephone operator is a healthcare professional who will ask you a few questions to assess if you need immediate help. Depending on the urgency of your situation, you may receive self-care advice over the phone or be advised to book an appointment with your our own GP. 

Important information

  • The out-of-hours GP service is for emergencies only.
  • You must call first to make sure a visit is truly necessary.
  • Visiting the out-of-hours GP service is not free of charge. It’s much more expensive than a regular appointment with your own GP.
  • Unnecessary visits to the out-of-hours GP service increase waiting times. In the long run, this could result in higher insurance premiums.

The out-of-hours GP service is located within the emergency care centre of the Diakonessenhuis hospital. Click here for more information (in Dutch).


Your GP may also refer you to hospital. For more information, go to the hospital page.


How do you explain to your GP what’s going on with you, especially if your symptoms are vague or embarrassing? Keep in mind that your GP has seen almost everything before and will not be surprised by your story. When you make an appointment, either online or by phone, you’ll be asked about the nature of your visit. That’s necessary to ensure you’re referred to the appropriate care provider, if need be. 

Before your appointment, you can check your symptoms on the website ‘Moet ik naar de dokter (Do I need to see a doctor)’. This will give you an idea of how to describe your symptoms. You’ll also receive advice.

Primary care

Primary and secondary care are commonly used terms in healthcare. Primary care is available to everyone, without a referral. GPs are the most important primary care providers. Your GP assesses what care you need and can refer you to a specialist (usually secondary care), if necessary. For more information, go to the healthcare page on this website.