Despite what I’ve heard about the Dutch medical system, my own experience has been somewhat contrary to my expectations. When Petit-Homme was born, I was mentally prepared to be ushered back home three hours after delivery as is the norm here, but we ended up staying overnight in the hospital with round-the-clock attention.
Recently, Petit-Homme was admitted into Juliana’s Kids Hospital. When we checked in, the Kids Annex was only 5 days old and staff were still meandering around trying to orient themselves. Everything was brand spanking new, from the play structures, to automatic glass doors that smashed you in the face if you failed to decipher the instructions in Dutch on where exactly to stand. Free wi-fi, tv channels, and a shiny bathroom in a spacious private room. The ward was far from full, which I found unusual but welcome (maybe because it was a public holiday?). No disinfectant smell and no anxious relatives milling around.
The food cart comes round for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You pick what you want from an assortment of bread, hams, cheeses, spreads or warm food. And depending on which staff member you encounter at 3.a.m you may be allowed to pillage the pantry, and excellent coffee/hot chocolate is at your disposal.
I found our stay generally positive. I was surprised however not to receive any documents regarding treatment, nor even a copy of the invoice. In the Netherlands, these things get sorted a lot later, probably because of the compulsory insurance system. You may or may not eventually be informed of the charges. When we checked out (I suppose I should say “got discharged”), the hospital looked alarmingly full. Are humans conditioned at an early age to fall sick on work days?