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Your GP can refer you to a hospital. You can’t receive hospital care without a referral. Together with your GP you can decide which hospital you want to go to. Be sure to check if your health insurance provider has a contract with the hospital of your choice. Usually it’s a local hospital. There are three hospitals in the city of Utrecht:

Accident & Emergency (A&E)

The A&E department of a hospital treats patients with life-threatening injuries or illnesses. The cost of all A&E care is deducted from your (mandatory) excess. The cost of seeing a GP at the out-of-hours medical services is not. So, if you need medical help, it’s best to see your GP or out-of-hours medical services first, unless there’s a life-threatening situation. If necessary, the GP will refer you to hospital. 

Health insurance excess 

The cost of all hospital care, including a visit to A&E, is deducted from your health insurance excess.


  • You’ve been referred by your GP
  • You need to see a specialist
  • You need an examination, for example X-rays
  • In all other cases, in emergencies only