Medical/Dental/Eye Care 101

Medical Care:

Is there a hospital on base? There is a U.S. Clinic on the Geilenkirchen N.A.T.O. base that serves Americans from GK, Schinnen, and Brunnsum. The doctors there are family practice doctors that will see your entire family. This is where you’ll go for routine care, immunizations, and referrals. If you have a medical need that cannot be served by the medical staff at GK, Tricare will give you a referral for off base care either in Germany or the Netherlands.

Where do I go for pediatrics? There is not a pediatrics clinic on base, but the medical staff there are very good with children and will see them as well. Again, for a serious condition that the staff are not equipped to care for, the child will be sent to see a specialist off base.

Where do I go for pregnancy? Pregnancy care is done on base by local physicians. You will have a choice which hospital you’d like to deliver at. Tours are available to orientate you with the hospital and the process.

Referrals? If you need a referral, your Primary Care Manager (PCM) at GK will recommend a referral and you will go upstairs to the Tricare office. From there, Tricare will set up an appointment with a local physician. Medical staff referred by Tricare do generally speak English very well. Medical reports by off base medical staff will need to be translated by Tricare (10+ working days) before your PCM can review and make any further decisions.

U.S. Medical facilities: For serious issues, you may be able to get a referral to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, the largest military hospital in Europe. It’s about a 3 hour drive down there, but it’s VERY close to Ramstein and Volgelweh, so lodging is nice, and it’s a great opportunity to shop. We’ve been very happy with the quality of physicians there and the quick, efficient service. Everything from x-rays to orthotics and other services are done immediately.

Known medical providers:

Fertility Care – Prof. Dr. med. J. Neulen
Universitatsklinikum Aachen
Pauwelsstrasse 30, D-52074 Aachen

Fertility Care — Dr. Kaschal


Radiology — Dr. Honinx
Ostpromenade 102; Heinsburg
*Very kind, professional, and speaks excellent English. Would go to again. Nice office across from the bus station in Heinsburg in what looks more like an apartment building. Close walk from centrum. Friendly staff. Easy to find with GPS.

Dental Care:

Can I see a dentist twice a year for cleaning? Yes, but not as easily as you may have done in the past. You will be seen in your sponsors birth month at the Dental Clinic on the GK base for your routine cleaning. If you would like to be seen at the half-year mark, you will either need to call the clinic for a same day, space available appointment, or you may consult the list of local dental providers and be seen off base. Any dental care that is needed, is, of course, provided in a timely manner.

Orthodondists??? If you or your child need orthodontic care, you will be given a referral either down to Bitburg (a U.S. base about 90 minutes from GK) or you may choose an off-base provider.


Opthamologists come from Spang/Bitburg quaterly and take appointments on base, but those fill quickly and they don’t see very young children. Active duty members often make the trip to Bitburg for eye care and dependents can be seen locally by off-base opthomologists. For children, there are good eye doctors as well and the Pearle Vision in Sittard is a great place to get your glasses and contacts.

Known providers:

Stichting Oogvisie Zuid-Limburg
Mauritspark 3
6163 HM Geleen
Tel: 0031-46-475-8353

This is where we went. It’s in an old house and there is parking both on the street and in the lot in back. They were very thorough and extremely good with my daughter. This was her first time to an eye doctor and she was a little scared, but the ladies all treated her respectfully, kindly, and explained everything to her as they did it. The appointment lasted about 2 hours complete with dilation time and the re-exam by the doctor.
Fill prescriptions glasses and contacts:

Pearle Opticiens
Tempelplein 7 -B
6131 JC Sittard

tel: 0031-(0)46-4529133
(Across from H&M in Sittard, diagonal from the flower shop by the Tempelplein parking lot)


This site is absolutely great. Although you might think buying glasses on line would be difficult, this site makes it easy. They have a printable template that you download to ensure you have the correct size frame; they have pictures of different shape faces/genders, so you can pretty much see how the frames would look on your face, and the service is fast. The frames start at $39, of course, and you can upgrade to all the latest and greatest features, such as ultra thin lenses and tint and the like. It makes buying glasses much more affordable than paying in euro!

Germany vs. The Netherlands

It is true that, in general, the Dutch people have a much better handle on the English language than the Germans in this area; however, the physicians that Tricare will refer you to do have English skills – some quite good. The key, as with any physician, is to choose someone that you feel comfortable with. There are many physicians usually to choose from, so if you are not happy with one, it is ok to ask for another. You also need to speak a little slower and may need to repeat yourself. Make sure that you are understood and do not be afraid to ask questions. We’ve been referred to physicians in both places and have been happy with both.

One Response to “Medical/Dental/Eye Care 101”

  1. Dawn February 27, 2009 9:11 am #

    My son needed glasses and we didn’t want to drive to Rammstein to save money. We went to Pearle Opticiens in Sittard (across from H&M). They were great! Reasonable prices, name brand frames (CK, Armani, Quicksilver to name a few) and great customer service. They do accept the vat form and American prescriptions. It takes two weeks to get your glasses, but Rammstein takes that long too! They have a small kids frame area, but still good selection, and alot of adult glasses and sunglasses. They also spoke very good English! Very nice experience! We went last night and they were running a deal for kids, buy one frame get one free. Worth checking out!!

    The website for local Pearles

    Then click on

    “vind een vestiging” to find one near you.

    I know they do have one in Heerlen, Brunnsum and of course Sittard.

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