(Editor’s note: Dispatches co-founder Cheryl Boyd in Eindhoven also contributed to this post.)
Moving to a foreign country is filled with worries and confusion, and one of the biggest concerns will always be health care. In the case of the Netherlands, the health care approach can be very different to that we experience at “home.”
In fact, according to SGE International Health Care Services, 40 percent of internationals actually don’t trust their Dutch doctor, whether it’s because the approach to care is different or because of the Dutch directness, which can be perceived to be discourteous or uncaring.
SGE, an Eindhoven-based primary health care provider, has been in business for 30 years. But as Eindhoven has become an international hub with more than 31 percent of its residents expats, administrators realized a different approach was needed – especially after a committee of internationals told SGE researchers they found the Dutch approach to primary care unsatisfactory.
When SGE opened their 11th health center in 2015, it was a new facility totally focused on providing services solely for the international community in Eindhoven. The health center opened with one patient in May 2015 and now has 1,300 expat patients. SGE International is adding a second general practitioner, so will soon be open Monday through Friday to see patients.
Situated in Strijp-S just north of the center city, SGE – in conjunction with PsyQ International Mental Health Services – is creating a medical trailblazing service. The new clinic takes into account the needs of – and allays the concerns of – Eindhoven’s expat community.
Many of SGE International staffers have been expats themselves and speak several languages between them. They also provide interpreters or use online translation for the less common languages.
(English is the main language spoken in the center, and the phone message and website are also in English.)
The details before you go:
• The center provides primary care and mental health services, with access to physical therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, pharmacists, dentists and midwives.
• The time allowed per appointment is double that of a conventional Dutch GP, allowing the doctor, GP assistant or nurse practitioner to take into account the language hurdles and time needed for explanations and reassurance.
• H.A.A Rullmaan M.D, is a friendly competent GP, who has herself been an expat, and she is ably supported by her assistant, A. van Deursen, along with all the support staff that work within the center.
• The PsyQ Mental Health Services have a group of superb mental health professionals that also speak English and can take patients from further afield, unlike a GP.
• Your Dutch health insurance should cover many of these services, as with a Dutch “huisarts.”
• Staff say they will continue to add services including physiotherapists and dentists with future expansions. (An additional 30,000 expats are expected in Eindhoven in the next three years.)
To find out more about this superb service for expats, visit SGE International at Strijp-S Videolab 4.042, Torenallee 20, 5617 BC Eindhoven, or call 040-711 67 30, email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to the website www.sgeinternational.nl
Jackie Harding was born in the United Kingdom. As a longtime expat, she’s lived in Boston, Mass for 12 years, and in the Netherlands for the past six years.
Jackie is becoming an expert at re-inventing herself! Trained as a nurse in UK, in the United States, she worked for nine years as a special education teacher’s assistant. Since moving to the Netherlands, she has discovered writing and runs the Hub newsletter and writes for the Eindhoven News. She’s married to British businessman Martin Harding and is the mother of two international adult children.