In November 2015, SGE international primary health care center opened its doors at Strijp-S, Eindhoven. However, the process of developing SGE International started well before that, in the spring of 2014. With the help of TU/e, Holland Expat Center South, IHS (International Health Services) and MRE (Metropolitan Region Eindhoven), SGE engaged in dialogues with internationals about healthcare in the Netherlands. These dialogues encompassed the experiences of internationals with Dutch healthcare and confirmed the outcome of earlier market research: there is a gap between the needs and expectations of internationals and Dutch healthcare.

In addition to cultural gaps, language barriers, varying expectations, and a general unfamiliarity with the Dutch healthcare system, it was also revealed that many internationals do not understand the prominent role of the General Practitioner (GP). The fact that Dutch healthcare is acclaimed to be one of the best systems in the world is not reflected in the confidence internationals have in this system. As well, trust in doctors and their capability to make a proper diagnosis and effectively treat health issues, appeared low amongst Internationals.

In December 2014, SGE made a commitment to work with the international community in Eindhoven by ‘closing the gap’ in health care. Internationals were invited to join a panel that would help SGE in the process of implementing SGE International. During these dialogues, we learned that people with an international background are not necessarily demanding the services they are accustomed to, but, first and foremost, want to feel safe in a system they don’t know.

SGE International offers health care services aimed at answering the needs and questions of internationals. IIt is run by our medical staff, who have been specifically trained in multi-cultural differences and we offer, amongst others, longer consultation times, modern e-health technology, online registration, online repeat prescription, call-back request and online appointment scheduling. All information is provided in English.