Your visit to A&E

A&E is open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day for first aid for immediate medical care. There are several ways of getting to the A&E. You can come to the A&E yourself, you can be referred by your doctor (GP) or treating specialist. You can also be brought to A&E by ambulance.

Via the doctor (GP)

If you need medical advice or assistance, please contact your regular doctor (general practitioner - GP) first. If your GP is not on duty, you will always be referred to a replacement GP or GP station (HAP). If necessary, the GP who helps you will refer you to the A&E.

Immediately to A&E

If you are in immediate need of medical help you can, of course, go to the A&E without a referral from your GP. If your situation is not an emergency, the waiting time may be longer.

Referral to GP station (HAP)

If you come to the A&E without a referral from your GP and the care is not urgent, we may refer you to the GP Station(HAP). It is located next to our A&E. If the HAP is closed, you will in any case be seen by a doctor from A&E. If your situation is not an emergency, the waiting time may be longer.

Register upon arrival to the emergency room

When you arrive, you will be registered so as a patient within VUmc and will be given a unique patient number. Our registration office will record several of your details. If your health condition does not allow us to do this, the they will only request the essentials and then have you picked up by a nurse. With your unique patient number, we ensure that all your examinations, results and treatments are processed correctly.

Urgent situation?

After registration, we ask you to take a seat in the waiting room. From here you will be picked up by the triage nurse. This nurse will determine what your situation is and the urgency needed. It is possible that patients coming in after you are in more urgent need of care and therefore will be helped sooner.

In addition the waiting time is also determined by other factors such as:

  • How busy things are at the A&E.
  • The availability of the doctor/specialist or of the nurse
  • Several specialists work side by side, so happens it sometimes that a patient who comes in after you is helped sooner than you.
  • The availability of the treatment room that is necessary for your treatment.
  • Calling away the doctor in connection with an emergency at the A&E or another care unit within the hospital.

If your symptoms get worse during your stay at the A&E, tell a doctor or nurse immediately. You can also always contact one of the nurses for other questions.

When it is your turn

The nurse will accompany you to the treatment room and tell you about the further course of action. Sometimes the nurse will take a blood sample or start with a small examination. If necessary, the nurse will hand over the care to another nurse.

After the emergency room nurse has seen you, the doctor will come as soon as possible. This doctor will discuss further treatment and any examinations to be performed with you. Sometimes it is desirable for another doctor to evaluate you as well. This can extend your stay at the A&E.


If you have undergone an examination, it may take some time before you receive the results. It takes more than an hour before any blood results are known. There may also be waiting times for additional examinations, such as an X-ray, an ultrasound examination or making a CT scan. The waiting times for conducting examinations often depend on how busy things are at A&E. Depending on the results of the examination, a treatment is started, or the treatment is sometimes started immediately. This varies per situation.

Children in the emergency room

Children under the age of 12 must always be accompanied by one of the parents / guardians. If the medical situation of a child under the age of 12 is of such a nature that immediate assistance is required, the help can be given without the consent of the parents / guardians. Children between the ages of 12 and 16 can be treated independently at the A&E if this is in the interest of the child. All children in the emergency room are examined from head to toe, according to the Dutch law on the reporting code for child abuse and domestic violence.

Patients and carers

We request that you stay in the treatment room during your stay at the A&E. In connection with the privacy of the other patients, we ask you not to walk around the ward unnecessarily.

Food and drink

Even though the injury may seem minor, we request that you do not eat or drink anything until the doctor or nurse tells you that you may do so.

Next steps

After the first care and treatment at A&E, there are various options for the follow-up process:

Did you get a prescription for medicine?

Have you received a prescription for medicines? Then you can pick up your medicines from the pharmacy of the Amsterdam UMC outpatient clinic location VUmc within office hours. Unfortunately, we do not have a service pharmacy outside office hours and we will refer you to another nearest pharmacy.

The treatment has been completed

The examinations and treatment do not need to be continued. You will receive advice and in principle you no longer need to visit a doctor. The doctor will send a letter to your GP with information about your visit to the emergency room with the results of the tests and the medical treatment you have received. If you are still unsure about the course of the recovery, you can always contact your GP.

You will be referred back to the GP

The doctor will advise you to continue the treatment or to have it checked by your GP. The doctor will send a letter to your doctor with information about your visit to the emergency room with the results of the tests and the medical treatment you have received. You must make an appointment with your GP yourself.

You will be referred to the outpatient clinic

The doctor will refer you to an outpatient department for follow-up examination and treatment. This can be the outpatient clinic of Amsterdam UMC, but you can of course also make an appointment at another hospital. At some outpatient clinics you can already arrange a date and time at the A&E. In all other cases you will be provided with details and telephone number to make an appointment yourself.

You will be admitted to hospital

If you have a medical indication, you can be admitted to one of the care units in the hospital.

Guest house

Relatives of the patient can use the guesthouse for overnight stays.


A visit to the emergency room is sometimes at the expense of your deductible as part of your health insurance. If you are insured and you can show this, we will submit the costs of your treatment directly to your own insurer. The insurance then makes a claim on the deductible. Sometimes it can take some time before the invoice reaches the health insurance or you.The above also happens if you have a European insurance certificate. We will then make a copy of this insurance certificate.

Are you not insured, do you not have European insurance, or do you not have a valid insurance certificate? Then we ask you to pay an advance. Payment can only be done by pin or with a valid internationally recognised credit card. You will then receive a proof of payment which you then show to your insurer.


Do you have any questions? You can contact anyone with your questions. If the person asked cannot answer your question, she or he will refer you to someone who will be able to do so.