The healthcare facilities in Enschede are excellent and reflect the reputation of Dutch healthcare being among the best in the world, with people having access to advanced treatments and preventive care during all stages of their lives. When you have health issues, you must first visit your general practitioner before being referred to the hospital, unless it is an emergency which requires immediate medical care. On the website Zorgkaart Nederland you can find an overview of the health care institutions in Enschede (only available in Dutch).
The hospital in Enschede is ‘het Medisch Spectrum Twente’ (MST), one of the largest non-academic hospitals of the Netherlands. Aside from the regular clinical departments, it also has tertiary care departments such as cardiothoracic surgery, neurosurgery, advanced oncological care, radio therapy, bone marrow transplantations, hemodialysis, a large hospital pharmacy, and a regional level 1 trauma center. Because of this it is one of the few hospitals in the area to have its own helicopter platform.
In May 2012 the construction of a new hospital was started right next to the existing main location. Completion is expected in July 2015. One of the major construction companies involved is Trebbe.
One of the major healthcare agencies specialized in home care in Enschede is Livio. They have a number of living- and healthcare centers that offer a combination of independent living and home care when you are no longer able to live on your own due to health issues. They also provide professionals in home care and support for family-carers. Lastly, they have special shops where you can borrow or rent small aid tools such as a wheelchair, crutches or a special shower chair.
If you are a resident of the Netherlands, you are, in principle, obliged to take out Dutch health insurance, even if you are already insured back home. This ensures that every person is protected against the financial risks of illness and hospital admission. To register for health insurance, you will require a social security number. One of the largest healthcare insurance companies in the Netherlands is Menzis and has it’s own office in Enschede. They provide health insurance and advice. For more information visit their website (only available in Dutch).
Like most Dutch cities, Enschede is relatively safe. Violent crimes do not occur very often, and overall, residents and visitors enjoy a safe experience without incident. Do be cautious of petty crimes however, such as theft. If you are a victim of crime go to one of the police stations. They will take a statement, cancel your credit cards in case of theft and provide you with useful telephone numbers and addresses. For the nearest police station go to this website.
Call 112 for urgent assistance in life-threatening situations or if you witness a crime. For example, to report a road accident, a fire, an intruder or when you or someone else is in need of immediate medical care.
For more information about the Dutch emergency number go to the website of the Dutch Government about the emergency number.
Every first Monday of each month at noon, all the municipalities in the Netherlands test the emergency sirens in their cities. They do this to ensure that the system works properly in case there is a real emergency. The test lasts for one minute and 26 seconds. If you hear the siren during this time, everything is OK. If you hear the siren outside of this time frame, if it goes off multiple times or lasts longer than the one minute and 26 seconds you may assume something serious is happening. For more information on what to do in case of an emergency or disaster go the website of the Dutch government.