Right to care when not insured?

Everyone has a right to medical help, even when they are briefly or temporarily uninsured. However, health professionals or financial administrators might question whether they should provide HIV care to people without health insurance. HIV care simply must be provided.

In brief:

  • HIV and other healthcare must always be provided.
  • Even if you have no health insurance or no money.
  • CAK reimburses care providers for costs of care provided.
  • A fact sheet on healthcare in the Netherlands is available.

Essential medical care

Legally speaking you are always entitled to essential medical care according to the Health Insurance Act (Zorgverzekeringswet, Zvw). This is all care covered by the basic insurance of the Zvw or under the agreements of the Long Term Act (Wet langdurige zorg, Wlz). This also applies to HIV care.

How do you find HIV care?

It is best to make an appointment with a family doctor near you. They can supply you with a referral letter for an appointment at an HIV clinic near you.

If this doesn’t work, check locally what the other options are, such as a Red Cross medical station. You can also go to a mobile medical centre run by Dokters van de Wereld (such as the Zorgbus), or to the Straatdokters (Street Doctors - their website is in Dutch), like the one at the Pauluskerk in Rotterdam or the Kruispost in Amsterdam.

Care when uninsured

There could be various reasons why you are not insured, or temporarily not insured. For example, because you are in the Netherlands without legally valid documents and are unable to take out insurance for healthcare costs.

What if you need HIV care, or other care, and cannot pay the bill? Then a general practitioner, pharmacist or specialised HIV doctor can – given certain conditions – make use of the funding mechanisms of the CAK, which means that costs of care and medication are reimbursed.

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Information for healthcare professionals

Reimbursement of HIV care and medication costs
As a care provider you can, in certain cases, apply to the CAK for a contribution to the costs of medical care you provide to people without health insurance. You can make use of a number of the CAK’s funding mechanisms in order to get care costs reimbursed (these are all in Dutch):

On the www.lampion.info website you find information (partly in English) on how healthcare professionals can provide care to undocumented migrants, and on topics such as financing care, legislation and reception & shelter.

This information is useful

Read also

HIV treatment


Complaints about care


Medication in practice