Over seven in ten people in the Dutch population see their general practitioner (GP) every year; eight in ten visit their dentist at least once a year.
Elderly and young children see GP most often
Around 12 million people in the Netherlands visited their GP at least once in 2012. People older than 75 years were most likely to visit their GP: over 80 percent of them saw their GP at least once in 2012. Children under 4 years of age also see their GP relatively often. Youngsters aged 4-15 had least contact with their GP. On average, Dutch people visit their GP just over four times a year. If population ageing is taken into account, the number of people who see their GP at least once a year has fallen slightly since 2002.
Percentage of population visiting GP at least once, 2012
More women than men see their GP
More women (77 percent) than men (66 percent) visit their GP. This is partly because women are on average older than men, but also because of typically female health problems connected with uterus, breasts, pregnancy, and contraception. The differences between men and women are largest in the 16-39 years age group. In this age group, more than three-quarters of women had seen their GP at least once, compared with six in ten men. Not only do more women visit their GP, they also do so more often (4.9 and 3.4 times a year respectively).
Most dentist visits for check-ups
The Dutch also visit their dentists regularly: over three-quarters of the population go to the dentist at least once a year. This percentage has hardly changed since the beginning of this century. Overall, the population made over 38 million appointments with their dentists in 2012, nearly two-thirds of which were for regular check-ups. The remainder of visits were for more extensive treatment such as plaque removal, fillings, extraction, and crowns and bridgework.
Percentage of population visiting dentist at least once, 2012
Dentists also see more women than men
Slightly more women than men visit their dentists, too, especially in the age group 30-49 years. Most children see a dentist regularly from the age of 4 onwards. Only after age 55 do people visit their dentist less frequently. Only 45 percent of over-75s see their dentist regularly. The main reason for this is that more older people have dentures.
Christianne Hupkens and Henk Swinkels