“We have heard from several sources that students are having difficulty gaining access to primary healthcare. We wish to get a proper understanding of the situation, so as to see if we can make a difference,” says Education & Student Affairs policy officer Carolien Hennekam. For this reason, the university will distribute a survey on primary care starting from this week.

The study comes after the University Council expressed concerns about the lack of primary care, and after Erasmus Magazine published an article that showed that international students are having a hard time finding GPs, for reasons including the complicated Dutch healthcare system, various administrative barriers to being accepted as a patient by a general practice, and Rotterdam’s general practitioner shortage.

GP shortage

In its study, the university will not only focus on international students’ access to primary care, but on Dutch students’ access, as well. “We are hearing that due to the fact that it’s hard for Rotterdam-based GPs to find affordable premises in the city, it can be hard for Dutch students to find a GP, as well,” Hennekam explains.

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In its questionnaire, drawn up in cooperation with the University Council, the university asks, among other things, whether you have a GP and, if so, where; how often you see him or her; and whether you would come and see a GP on campus if any surgery hours were to be held there. Other questions deal with the subject of health insurance and what role students would like the university to play in the provision of primary care.

Hennekam hopes the study will help her determine whether Erasmus University might be able to contribute to easier student access to GPs. “The results of the study may lead to making arrangements with Rotterdam-based GPs, specifically for students.” Furthermore, the university is in talks with a platform that offers online consultations.

You can take the survey here.