Non-Dutch speakers in the Rotterdam Eye Hospital

For us, it’s of utmost importance that you understand what our doctors and staff are telling you about your illness, your treatment and other issues. Unfortunately, we are not able to communicate in all languages, and not all information is available in multiple languages.

If you do not speak, read or write Dutch or perhaps not well enough, you should always have someone with you who can. This person (relative, friend or someone else) can then translate all the information that is given to you, if necessary. This person should preferably be an adult. If this is not possible, we can contact an interpreter by telephone. 

To make things easier for you, we have translated some information for you. We have taken great care with these translations but we would like to point out that the Dutch version of these texts is always governing.  

Other information, forms and leaflets are available in Dutch. Our staff speak Dutch. If you find it difficult to communicate in Dutch, please have someone with you who can help.

Location and opening hours

Addresses for visitors
The Rotterdam Eye Hospital
Schiedamse Vest 180
3011 BH Rotterdam

OOGhuis
Schiedamse Vest 160
3011 BH Rotterdam

The Rotterdam Eye Hospital, Havenpolikliniek location
Haringvliet 72
3011 TG Rotterdam

Address for correspondence
The Rotterdam Eye Hospital
PO box 70030
3000 LM Rotterdam

General telephone number: 010 401 77 77
Our staff speak Dutch. If you find it difficult to communicate in Dutch, please have someone with you who can help.

Opening hours

The opening hours for the Rotterdam Eye Hospital are:

Ophthalmic Emergency Department 24 hours a day, requires a GP referral, report to registration desk 1
Outpatients  Mondays to Fridays from 8.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and from 1.30 p.m. to 4.30 p.m.; by appointment only
Blood tests Mondays to Fridays from 9 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and from 1.30 p.m. to 4.30 p.m.; walk-in surgery for patients of the Rotterdam Eye Hospital, registration desk 10
Nursing ward visiting hours from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., no more than 3 visitors per patient

 

Your appointment

Making an appointment
If you would like to make, change or cancel an appointment, please call the Customer Contact Centre on 010 401 7666 on Mondays to Fridays from 8.15 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. Our staff speak Dutch. If you find it difficult to communicate in Dutch, please have someone with you who can help.

Always carry your insurance card with you, as this contains all the details we will need from you.

If you have been to the Eye Hospital before, then your details are probably already in our system. Please keep your patient number and insurance card handy, so that we can look up your details. You can find the patient number on a previous appointment letter and/or the appointment card.

What to do if you are unable to attend
Naturally, it may happen that you need to cancel or change your appointment. However, please only do this if there is an extreme emergency and at least 48 hours before your appointment. This way, we can see another patient instead. If you do need to cancel or change your appointment, please contact us on telephone number 010 401 7666. If you don’t cancel your appointment or don’t cancel it in time, we may charge you for the appointment. These costs are not reimbursed by your healthcare insurer.

We will send you a reminder
We offer an additional service of sending you a brief reminder via text message about two or three days before your appointment. If you are unable to attend, please contact the hospital to cancel and make a new appointment. This text message will be in Dutch.

Who​ is eligible for treatment?
The Rotterdam Eye Hospital has experienced a growing demand for ophthalmic care from all over the country. Unfortunately, we have limited resources, ophthalmologists, support staff and premises. Therefore, if we did not make choices regarding who to treat and who not to treat, we would find our resources being overstretched. That’s why we apply the following eligibility criteria for care.

Specialist referrals and tertiary referrals
The Eye Hospital treats patients with tertiary referrals from all over the country. These are referrals by an ophthalmologist from another hospital.

Secondary ophthalmic care and second opinions
In our own region (postcode 2650 to 2665 and 2900 to 3299), the Eye Hospital provides secondary ophthalmic care. Secondary care is the medical care that is provided by all care providers for which you need a referral. This medical care always requires a referral from your GP/optometrist.

Secondary care also means that, if you live in our region, we are able to give a second opinion at the request of your GP. In most cases, this second opinion will enable your own ophthalmologist to continue your treatment.

In case of second opinions and tertiary referrals, we look at the referral letters in advance in order to assess whether we can be of added value. Patients and referrers will then be notified. We may also ask you for your medical file in order to made a correct assessment. You can request your medical file from your own ophthalmologist, if we need it.

Cataracts
The Eye Hospital has the largest Cataract Centre in the Netherlands. We continue to treat patients with cataracts from all over the country.

Emergency care
For emergency care, the Ophthalmic Emergency Department in the Eye Hospital is open and can be reached 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. However, you will always need a referral from the medical centre, the ambulance, another ophthalmologist or another hospital.

Reporting a resistant bacteria (HRMO)

Every human being carries bacteria. Bacteria are everywhere on and in the body. These bacteria are part of us and often have a useful function. In general, bacteria do not cause any problems and if they do, these problems can be treated with medication.

There are also bacteria that are resistant to conventional antibiotics. This means that these bacteria are not killed, despite the antibiotics and are therefore difficult to treat. The collective name of resistant bacteria is 'highly resistant micro-organisms' (HRMO). The best-known bacterium is the MRSA bacteria. Just like ordinary bacteria, these resistant bacteria do not normally cause any problems. 

If you carry these bacteria, it will not have any consequences for the medical interventions and treatments you require. However, it may be that special protective measures need to be taken.

Please tell us if you have been admitted to a hospital outside the Netherlands. This is because of the risk of resistant bacteria (HRMO), such as MRSA.

What you need to bring with you to your appointment

In order to be well prepared for your appointment, you need to bring certain things with you. Some of these are so important that if you don't have them with you, the appointment will have to cancelled. Please check the following list very carefully. 

You need to bring:

  • your appointment letter and the completed questionnaire (only if this has been sent to you);
  • a referral letter from your GP or specialist. Please note: this referral letter is valid for one year. If it is older than one year, you will need a new referral letter.
  • You do not need to bring a referral letter if you are receiving treatment for the same eye problem, if your doctor has made a digital referral via ZorgDomein or if you were referred from another hospital;
  • a valid proof of identity (not a copy): passport, driving licence, national identity card or alien’s identity card. If you do not have proof of identity, the appointment will be cancelled;
  • a current medication list. You can get this list from your pharmacy;
  • details of your healthcare insurer: card or registration certificate;
  • the appointment card, the hospital will give you this card after your (first) appointment;
  • a pair of sunglasses, because your examination or treatment may require you to have eye drops that dilate your pupils. You might find it helpful to wear sunglasses afterwards, because daylight can be very bright;
  • your (spare) glasses and/or contact lenses case;
  • a debit or credit card if you are travelling by car, to pay for car parking charges (automatic number plate recognition).

We need your referral letter!

If your doctor/GP has referred you to the hospital, you will receive a referral letter. Healthcare insurers are becoming increasingly strict about these referral letters. You need to bring a new referral letter for every new problem. It is also possible that your doctor/GP has made a digital referral for you to the hospital. In that case, you will not receive a referral letter as this will be sent to us digitally.

Non-urgent eye care
If you are being treated for the same problem, you do not need to bring a new referral letter with you for appointments that are made for you. If you have finished your treatment but have new symptoms, then you will need a new referral letter from your GP.

Emergency Eye Care
If you are visiting our Ophthalmic Emergency Department with symptoms but without a referral letter, we will refer you to your doctor or medical centre. In most cases, your GP can provide good medical care. If it is really necessary, the GP will make an appointment for you at the Ophthalmic Emergency Department of the Rotterdam Eye Hospital. Your GP may also advise you to make an appointment with the ophthalmologist at our outpatient clinic; in this case, you will still need a referral letter.

You do not need to bring a referral letter to the hospital if:

  • you have been injured in the eye by chemicals, or
  • you have been injured in the eye by a sharp or blunt object.

Referrers must be approved
Your healthcare insurer will determine whether or not your referral to the hospital is valid. All healthcare insurers will accept a GP or doctor (medical specialist) as a referrer and most healthcare insurers will also accept, for instance, the optometrist as a referrer. Always contact your healthcare insurer to get confirmation. Remember: you are always responsible for having a valid referral letter.

Appointment with a referral letter
As soon as you are referred to the Eye Hospital, you can make an appointment at the outpatients' clinic.

Please note: The Eye Hospital advises you to do this as soon as possible, as your referral letter is only valid for 1 year. The referral letter must still be valid when you start your treatment.

Appointment without a referral letter
If you visit our hospital without a referral letter, you will have to pay the costs yourself. The invoice for the entire treatment will be sent to your home address. You can ask your healthcare insurer whether you can forward the invoice to them and whether your treatment will be reimbursed.


You need to bring a valid identity document!

You are required to bring a valid identity document and your health insurance card with you every time you visit the Rotterdam Eye Hospital. An identity document can be a passport, driving licence, national identity card or alien’s identity card.

The Eye Hospital uses your identity document to determine your Citizen Service Number (in Dutch: BSN). This BSN is important to ensure that the doctor and other healthcare providers know who they are treating and to ensure that you are given the correct medical care. Your BSN can also be used to send the invoice to your healthcare insurer. If we do not have your BSN, you will have to pay the invoice yourself.

Identity documents for children
Parents must have valid identity documents for their children when they visit a doctor or hospital. This rule applies to newborn babies and also for children under the age of 14 years. Children are therefore subject to the same rules as mentioned above.

What happens if you do not bring your identity document?

  • If you live in the Rijnmond region and you do not need emergency medical care, your appointment will be cancelled. You will then have to make a new appointment. Remember to bring your identity document with you to the new appointment.
  • If you live outside the Rijnmond region or if you need emergency medical care, you must sign a form. By signing this form, you consent to paying the invoice for the medical care you have received from us. If you do not want to sign the form, your appointment will be cancelled. You will then have to make a new appointment. Remember to bring your identity document at the new appointment.


Current medication list

A current medication list is a list of medications that you have taken in the past three months. It lists the strength and dosage you are taking for each medication. The list also mentions any allergies and serious side effects of medications.

You can get this medication list from your pharmacy. They can print the list for you, free of charge.

Keep your medication list up-to-date and complete
Check with the pharmaceutical assistant to make sure that all the medication you are taking is included on the list. If any medication is missing from the list, please tell your pharmacy. Medication that you have purchased without a prescription must also be mentioned on the list. This can include paracetamol or non-prescription painkillers and (homoeopathic) medicine bought in a retail pharmacy. Your medication list cannot be older than six months when visiting the Rotterdam Eye Hospital.

By bringing an up-to-date medication list with you to the hospital, you will help ensure that your treatment is as safe as possible and that mistakes are prevented. It is important that all doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers know exactly what medications you are taking as this can have an effect on your examination and your treatment. 

If you do not have a current medication list with you, we will ask you to bring it with you to your next appointment.

Ophthalmic Emergency Department

For emergency medical care, the Ophthalmic Emergency Department in the Eye Hospital is open and can be reached 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. However, you will always need a referral letter from the medical centre, the ambulance, another ophthalmologist or another hospital.

The Ophthalmic Emergency Department is located on the ground floor of the Rotterdam Eye Hospital (Schiedamse Vest 180). Please go to registration desk 1, at the entrance to the hospital on your left.

Making an appointment
You also need to make an appointment in advance if you visit the Ophthalmic Emergency Department.  Your GP can do this for you. If you already have a referral letter, you can also do this yourself via telephone number 010 401 7727. When you make the appointment, you will be told the approximate time when you will be seen. This is how we try to reduce the waiting times at the Ophthalmic Emergency Department. If you come without an appointment (via your GP), you often have to wait longer.

Our staff speak Dutch. If you find it difficult to communicate in Dutch, please have someone with you who can help.

We need your referral letter!
If you are visiting our Ophthalmic Emergency Department with complaints but without a referral letter, we will refer you to your doctor or medical centre. In most cases, the GP can provide good medical care. If it is really necessary, the GP will make an appointment for you at the Ophthalmic Emergency Department of the Rotterdam Eye Hospital. Your GP may also advise you to make an appointment with the ophthalmologist at our outpatient clinic; in this case, you will still need a referral letter.

You do not need to bring a referral letter with you to the hospital if:

  • you have been injured in the eye by chemicals, or
  • you have been injured in the eye by a sharp or blunt object.

Complications
If you have had surgery in the Eye Hospital in the past month and are experiencing urgent (emergency) symptoms, please contact the Eye Hospital:

  • Mondays to Fridays from 7.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. on telephone number 010 401 77 27;
  • on the other days and times, on telephone number 010 401 7777.

If you have any doubts, please contact your GP or medical centre.
Our staff speak Dutch. If you find it difficult to communicate in Dutch, please have someone with you who can help.

If you have had surgery or treatment at the Eye Hospital and have medical questions that are not urgent, you can contact the medical help desk. The help desk is available from Monday to Friday from 8.15 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. on telephone number 010 401 7634. Our staff speak Dutch. If you find it difficult to communicate in Dutch, please have someone with you who can help.

Triage
The order in which you will be treated depends on the severity of your eye complaints. The Rotterdam Eye Hospital determines the order by means of a national and European approved triage system. You can then take a seat in the waiting area. When you are called in by the doctor, you can take one person with you into the consulting room.

We use the following target times:

Triage

The order of being treated is therefore not always the same as the order of arrival. This has to do with the urgency of the symptoms.

Your doctor
At the Ophthalmic Emergency Department, your eyes will be examined by an ophthalmologists, optometrists and/or an AIOS (a graduate doctor in training to become an ophthalmologist). A consultant (ophthalmologist) will always be present at the Ophthalmic Emergency Department or can be called up for consultation. At that moment, this consultant will be your primary consultant and ultimately responsible for your treatment. The optometrist or ophthalmologist in training remain your point of contact.

Check-ups
You may have to come back one or more times for a check-up. This follow-up appointment will be scheduled for you by the receptionist. Check-ups at the Ophthalmic Emergency Department are always in the morning.

You may be seen by a different doctor than during your previous visit. The ophthalmologists will, of course, exchange information via your patient file.

Because check-ups are done in the Ophthalmic Emergency Department, patients may come in who are given priority because of a medical emergency. As a result, you may have to wait longer for your appointment. We kindly ask for your understanding.

Informing your GP
We will try and inform your GP digitally on your progress as much as possible. It is also possible that you will be given a letter address to your GP. In that case, we ask you to deliver this letter to your GP’s practice.

Eye drops

You will generally be prescribed eye drops or ointment after a visit to the ophthalmologist or after eye surgery. These are usually intended to prevent infection and inflammation. It is therefore important to follow the instructions. Please continue using the eye drops or ointment until your check-up with the ophthalmologist at the outpatient clinic or as long as prescribed by the ophthalmologist.

Important points to remember
Read the patient information leaflet to find out how best to store the eye drops or ointment and to find out the possible side effects. If you cannot read the small print of the patient information leaflet, ask your pharmacy for a printed version in large letters.

When you open a bottle or tube, take note of the expiry date and write down the date it was opened on the label of the bottle or tube. In this way, you will be able to see if it is still okay to use the medication at a later date. Eye drops and ointment can usually be kept for up to one month after opening the container. You can usually find more information about the use-by-date on the packaging or from your pharmacy.

If you accidentally touch your eye, eyelids or eyelashes with the bottle or tube, you can use a tissue to wipe it clean.

If the ointment is too thick, it may help to warm the tube between your hands. Ointment becomes thinner when warm.

How to use eye drops
If you use eye drops correctly, your eye will heal better. To show you how to use the eye drops, we have made an instruction video. Please watch our instruction video about how to use eye drops for yourself and if you giving someone else the eye drops. The video is only available in Dutch.

You can also get the information about eye drops and ointment via an app on your smartphone.
You can find this app in the App Store and Google Play Store under 'OOGdruppelen' and you can download it for free. The app is only available in Dutch.

Our leaflet includes all the different steps shown in the instruction video. The leaflet is available in Dutch and English.

How to give your child eye drops

  • Children usually don’t like being given eye drops. The method described below works well when you need to give children eye drops:
  • Ask children to tip their heads back and ask them to squeeze their eyes really tight.
  • Squeeze one eye drop in the corner of their eye and tell them to open their eyes.
  • They can then gently close their eyes again. However, don’t let them squeeze too tight, as that will squeeze the liquid from the eye again.
  • After giving the eye drops, press and hold the tear duct closed for a while (as long as possible, preferably 3 minutes). Older children are able to do this by themselves.

Any problems with giving eye drops
If you are having any problems with the eye drops, you can get advice from your own pharmacy, the OOGapotheek in the Eye Hospital, the nurse in the Eye Hospital or from the organisation that is providing you with home help. They can give you information about eye drop techniques and aids.

Reimbursement of hospital care

Your health insurance
Everyone who lives or works in the Netherlands is legally obliged to take out health insurance.

Contracts with healthcare insurers
The healthcare insurer is not obliged to enter into a contract with all hospitals nor to reimburse the costs for all care that has been received. If your healthcare insurer does not have a contract with the hospital, the hospital will charge the so-called 'visitor’s rate' to you as a patient or to your healthcare insurer. Hospitals are working towards preventing situations where you have to pay the costs yourself by ensuring that the arrangements, they have reached with health insurers, are adequate.

Check with your healthcare insurer
Are you going to the hospital soon? If so, make sure you contact your healthcare insurer to find out whether or not your treatment will be reimbursed or if you have any questions about your policy conditions. Your policy will tell you whether or not the costs of your treatment (in the Eye Hospital) will actually be reimbursed. You are always responsible for your own health insurance and the coverage of your policy.Not insured: you will need to pay for treatment yourself

If you do not live in the Netherlands, you need to pay an advance of at least € 150 for your treatment. This advance payment covers the initial costs of your treatment. After your treatment, you will have to pay the full costs of your treatment.

Prices
You can read more about this on the Dutch pages.  
Prices are subject to change. The Eye Hospital does not accept any liability for any errors in the published price list.


Medical care without medical necessity
Medical care without a medical necessity is almost always excluded from the basic insurance (for example, laser treatment or an eye lift). You will need to pay these costs yourself.  Cosmetic surgery carried out in the Eye Hospital is often not medically necessary.

The importance of a valid referral letter
Your healthcare insurer will only reimburse your treatment if you have a valid referral letter.

If you live in the Netherlands but are not insured, if you do not have a valid referral letter or if you cannot identify yourself, you don't have to pay an advance for your treatment. The invoice for the treatment will then be sent to your home address.

The Eye Hospital cannot always estimate the costs of your treatment in advance. During treatment, additional treatments or tests may be carried out, increasing the costs of your medical care. That is why it is often only possible to determine the amount to be charged after your treatment.

Excess
Healthcare insurers reimburse a large part of the costs of hospital care. However, you always have to pay an excess. In 2019, this amount is € 385. This excess is compulsory for everyone aged 18 and over and starts on the day you turn 18. This means that you will always have to pay the first € 385 of healthcare costs per calendar year. In addition to this compulsory excess, you may have opted for a voluntary excess. You will have made this arrangement with your healthcare insurer. Your total excess can therefore be as high as € 875.

Please note: if you come to the Eye Hospital for an appointment, you will pay the excess if the treatment is covered by your basic insurance. If the treatment is covered by your supplementary insurance, the excess will not be deducted.

Information
If you would like more information, please call the Interne Controle department on telephone number 010 401 77 613 from 9 a.m. To 5 p.m. on Mondays to Fridays. Our staff speak Dutch. If you find it difficult to communicate in Dutch, please have someone with you who can help.

Complaints

There may be situations when you feel dissatisfied with some aspects of your treatment or stay. In that case, we would like to hear from you. Your experiences may be an important reason for the hospital to improve certain things.

The Eye Hospital has various ways for you to let us know your tips for improvement, complaints and alerts. You can read more about the way in which you can do this on the complaints page. This page and the complaint form are written in Dutch. If you would like to submit a complaint but find it difficult to read and write in Dutch, please have someone with you who can help. The complaint must be submitted in Dutch.