Visiting GGD in Amsterdam by Sydney Skipper

In Amsterdam, my class does excursions after class a few times a week. This includes cultural activities, educational activities, and also leisure events. This past week we were able to go to the GGD, which essentially is the equivalent to DHEC at home. As a public health major, this was very intriguing to me and what I am learning in my classes. We learned about the Dutch healthcare system as well as the government systems in place that allow the country to run more efficiently. For example, everyone in the Netherlands is required to have insurance and in some cases, they will send you to jail if you do not have one. However, with this system, the citizens pay no more than $385 for out of pocket copay each year. There are also different types of plans that can meet specific needs of the person. In the Netherlands, preventative care is a priority and this includes each person having a general practitioner doctor, and a referral is required for most further visits. Also, the ambulances and emergency first responders can decide if you are well enough to take yourself to the hospital versus riding in the ambulance. This is a lot different than America because they make you go and pay for the ambulance. Having a baby is completely free aside from the $385. I have learned so much about the systems in place and how beneficial ideas like this are to the health and well-being of a country. Everyone in the Netherlands is selfless and willing to help each other without hesitation. This includes the government giving free housing to the homeless, and they will even pay your house bills if you are unable to for a time. Health is a major priority and each city has organizations in place that work together to construct goals to build a better community. 

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