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Studying in the Netherlands with type 1 diabetes

Hi! Welcome to our foundation. We are Stichting ééndiabetes, a Dutch foundation that aims to empower young adults with type 1 diabetes by writing blogs, speaking about this topic in hospitals, hosting a Facebook group etcetera.

Some of us are very fond of traveling and some studied abroad for a while. We noticed that it can be extremely challenging to find the help you need if you run into diabetes-related problems abroad. What if you run out of supplies? What if your inserter breaks and your local Medtronic affiliate refuses to help you? What if you can only get a back-up PDM for a month, but you are about to travel for a year? And what if these things happen in a country of which you have little to no knowledge of the system and the language? The diabetes community will help you out!

Diabetes in the Netherlands

Diabetes care in the Netherlands is quite good. Insulin is readily available on prescription, supplies for pumps are delivered at home and we have a range of insulin pumps to choose from (currently: Kaleido, Omnipod, Medtronic 640G and 670G, Accuchek Combo and Insight). However, it is almost impossible to get any of these things without being treated in a Dutch hospital.

What if I run out of supplies?

If you run out of insulin, you can visit a general practitioner. Almost all doctors speak English, so they will understand you. For a consult you call a general practitioner, you explain that you need a consult because you have no insulin left and the assistant will book you an appointment. You will have to pay around 30 euros for the consult. The GP can prescribe you insulin, which you can then collect at a pharmacy. The costs for a 10ml vial of insulin vary around 25 euros. You may need to pay a fee for the services of the pharmacy as well. Pharmacies generally have pen needles too.

Glucose meters are available at stores like Kruidvat or Trekpleister, although the quality may not be as good as the quality of regular meters. You can also buy more common blood glucose meters and test strips online via e.g.

Getting pump supplies will be a challenge. You can try and call the Dutch affiliate of the manufacturer of your pump, but they tend to deny your request. If that happens, feel free to send us an e-mail and we will try to bring you in touch with the Dutch diabetes community to see if anyone can help you out. You can reach us at info[at]eendiabetes[dot]nl!

What if I fall ill?

If you fall ill and need to consult a doctor, you can either go to a general practitioner (see previous paragraph) for non-urgent complaints or to the ER (found in each hospital) if you have a medical emergency.

What if I want to talk to someone with type one diabetes?

Feel free to reach out to us via Facebook, Instagram or e-mail!