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Croatian, Za vise informacija na hrvatskom jeziku, molimo kontaktirajte Tamaru,

German, Wenn Du weitere Informationen auf Deutsch brauchst, wende Dich bitte an Dorothea,

Danish, For mere information paa Dansk kan De kontakte Heidi.



Czech, Pro více informací v ceském jazyce kontaktujte prosím


French, Pour plus d'informations en français, vous pouvez contacter Claire Caron sur

Polish, Po dodatkowe informacje w jezyku polskim kontakt or

Spanish, Si quieres más información en castellano, no dudes en ponerte en contacto conmigo, Laura

Indian, Please contact Rippy at if you'd like help in Hindi or Punjabi.

Diana Jekina,


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You are theoretically required to contact your huisarts (or the appropriate after-hours post) before you whisk your apparently injured or seriously ill child to Casualty (ER, Accident and Emergency, EHBO, whatever you call it) at the hospital. This is an extension of the GP-as-gatekeeper principle and not a bad thing when you think about it. It helps reduce time-wasting by non-crucial cases which don't need 'emergency' care, and for genuine emergencies the huisarts will ring ahead and get the relevant Xrays or specialists prepared for you, thus helping speed things up.

Not going through the huisarts (or huisartsenpost after hours) - obviously depending on the state of the child you're bringing - could mean that the staff at Casualty were annoyed that you've shown up without being referred, and in extreme cases (depending on the individuals involved and the specific situation) might even send you away. That's another reason for me banging on at such tedious length about maintaining a good relationship with your huisarts - so that she will refer you to the hospital like a shot when you ring and describe an emergency.

Anecdotal evidence shows, however, that Casualty staff are completely OK with you simply turning up with an obviously distressed or injured infant, and will do all they can to admit you and treat the child swiftly and effectively despite not going through official channels. Genuine emergencies will not be turned away!

However, if it's just a bit alarming or iffy, then do go through the huisarts or after-hours line ( huisartsenpost) and get properly referred. You're in it for the long term with your huisarts , and repeatedly and intentionally bypassing the official system will not make you any friends at the practice!

What can you conclude from all this? If it's a real emergency, just call an ambulance or go to the nearest A&E hospital asap. That's what they're there for; parents should follow their instincts. If it can wait, go through the proper channels. Don't be afraid to be a bit pushy (see the Etiquette section), as the default advice from the huisartsen tends to be 'wait until tomorrow' (as mentioned before!) and that's not always good advice. You may be referred more easily than you expect, if the medical staff don't feel like explaining in English to an upset foreigner why you can't go to the hospital NOW . alternatively if they think that you're a 'real' expat who will be leaving soon, they won't be worried about setting a bad precedent!

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