The Dutch lived an average of one kilometer away from their nearest doctor last year, according to figures from the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS). The nearest hospital was an average of 4.8 kilometers from their home.
Within a distance of five kilometers, the Dutch have an average choice of twenty general practitioners. In no Dutch municipality the average distance to a GP is greater than three kilometers.
On Schiermonnikoog, people live closest to their doctor on average (0.4 kilometers on average). Residents of Schiermonnikoog also need the least distance from all Dutch people for a pharmacy (less than 0.5 kilometer).
However, it does not apply to all Wadden Islands that residents live close to care facilities. On Texel, people live an average of three kilometers from a general practice. That is the greatest distance of all Dutch municipalities. In Central Drenthe (an average of 2.5 kilometers) and Aa and Hunze (an average of 2.4 kilometers), people live far from a general practitioner. In the big cities, everyone lives near a doctor.
For GP posts, where people can go in the evenings and on weekends, people have to travel a longer distance. On average, such a post is about six kilometers away.
Major regional differences
The figures show that there are large regional differences with regard to the distance to care facilities. In Baarn, people have to travel an average of two kilometers to get to a hospital. On Terschelling people live 63 kilometers from the nearest hospital.
The distance to the nearest hospital in the other Wadden Islands has also increased over the past five years. This is because the hospital in Dokkum in Friesland closed its doors. Residents of the Wadden Islands now have to go to Leeuwarden or Drachten. In some other municipalities, the distance decreased because of the opening of new hospitals.
Also for pharmacies it varies greatly per municipality how great the distance someone has to travel. While residents of Schiermonnikoog are less than half a kilometer from the pharmacy, residents of Bunschoten have to travel an average of six kilometers.