Dutch system compared to other EU countries

Health care insurances are deeply integrated into the healthcare systems across European countries. Nevertheless, there are some major differences between these insurances and systems across the different countries. For example, some countries only provide basic coverage while other countries have universal health care systems. On this page, we will provide you with an overview of some different health care systems in various European countries.

The Netherlands

Since 2006 the health care system in the Netherlands has been changed. Nowadays they have a system in which insurance is compulsory, everybody in the Netherlands is obliged to have basic insurance at a private insurance company. Children under the age of 18 are automatically included in the policy of their parents and lower-income groups receive special assistance.


In Switzerland the health care insurance is compulsory and therefore the costs for medical treatments are covered. In Switzerland, people are free in choosing their own health care provider. The health care system is a mix of private and public health care providers. The insurance companies are independently allowed to set prices.


In Denmark, the health insurance and medical care facilities are the responsibility of the Ministry of Social Affairs. Public authorities carry the costs but in return, the Danish people have to pay high taxes.


In France, you will find private and public hospitals and generally the doctors operate from private practices. 70% of most medical care costs are being refunded by various public organisations. 100% of the costs are being refunded in case of long term diseases.


In Germany there are two different types of health care insurances, private health care insurance and law enforced health care insurance. These law enforced healthcare insurances are so-called sickness funds, they have the same rates for all the members. For those who have an income below a certain level, there is compulsory insurance, which is provided by a non-profit organization.


In Ireland, they have a public health care system that is paid by taxation. For several medical treatments, the patients might have to pay an additional fee. However, maternity care is fully paid for by the government as well as health care for children under 6 months of age.


In Norway, the government finances the health care system. The government pays the hospitals and the costs for doctor visits are rather low. Moreover, medicines are provided at market prices. Private health care does exist and is mainly used for dental care purposes.