The Dutch have to travel a little further to visit their doctor

On average, the Dutch have to travel a little further to get to a GP than in 2008. This was calculated by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) with figures for 2022. The average distance to the nearest GP clinic in that year was 1.1 km. In 2008, when the Census Bureau first investigated this, it was still 900 metres.

According to a CBS spokesperson, for some people this is because the practices have disappeared completely in recent years or smaller publications have been consolidated into one larger site. For this reason, the distance in Hardinxveld-Gesendam (Southern Netherlands) increased by more than a kilometer on average between 2008 and 2022.

Whether people have a doctor nearby or have to travel far varies greatly from municipality to municipality. People in the west and center of the country generally have to travel the least number of kilometers to see a doctor. Texel residents have to travel farther on average, 2.8 km. It is followed by the city of Hulst in Zeeland-Flanders, central Drenthe, the border municipality of Baarle-Nassau in Brabant, and Aia and Honze (Drenthe). People living on national borders can also in principle visit a GP in Belgium or Germany, but Statistics Netherlands did not include practices abroad in this study.

The distance is the smallest on Wadden Island Schiermonnikoog – which has only one village, so all amenities are close by. It is followed by Delft, Haarlem, Amsterdam and Leiden.

CBS also calculated the distance the Dutch had to travel to reach the hospital. The distance to the hospital, which also includes outpatient clinics, decreased from 5.2 to 4.8 kilometers between 2008 and 2022.

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Megan Vasquez

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