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Unforeseen medical treatment - Germany

Emergency

Accident and emergency departments in Germany are called 'Notaufnahme'.

Info about healthcare in Germany: Statutory health insurance funds

On holiday in Germany – information

Treatment & costs

Doctors and dentists

  • Go directly to a doctor or dentist who has a contract with a German health insurance fund. Take your EHIC (or provisional replacement certificate) and ID card or passport with you.
  • Outside surgery hours you can contact the duty doctor or dentist ('Notdienst').
  • Treatment is free.
  • German doctors and dentists usually display a sign saying 'Kassenarzt' or 'Alle Kassen'. This shows they operate under the state system.
  • Any services beyond those provided by a practitioner who has a contract with a German health insurance fund entail costs not covered by the EHIC. You must pay for these yourself.

Hospitals

  • Except in an emergency, you need to be referred by a doctor for any hospital treatment.
  • If you're 18 or above, you pay a €10 fee per calendar day. This no longer applies once you've been in hospital for 28 days in the same year.
  • Hospital treatment includes any medical service you may need to treat an illness.
  • You'll have to pay for any optional extras, e.g. a single or double room.

Prescriptions

  • You can get any treatment or other service prescribed by your doctor from the person treating you, e.g. a physiotherapist. You'll have to pay a top-up fee of €10 per prescription, plus 10% of costs.
  • You can get medicines and bandages prescribed by your doctor from any pharmacy. You'll generally have to pay 10% of the cost (at least €5, up to a maximum of €10), but no more than the actual cost. The fee will not be reimbursed.
  • You'll have to pay out of your own pocket for non-prescription drugs such as painkillers and cough syrup. You may also have to pay for certain prescription drugs (e.g. for colds or flu).
  • Children under 18 don't have to pay for prescriptions.
  • Outside normal working hours, you can get medicines from the duty pharmacy ('Apotheken-Notdienst'). You can find its name in the window of all nearby pharmacies. For a list, see http://www.apotheken.de/, http://www.aponet.de/ or the local newspaper.

Ambulance

  • If a doctor says you need immediate treatment - i.e. in emergencies - transport to hospital is free.
  • You usually pay 10% of transport costs - at least €5, but no more than €10. You can never be asked to pay more than the actual cost.

Air ambulance

  • Same conditions as for ambulance.

Reimbursement

As a rule you don't have to pay upfront for most health services in Germany. If you haven't had the treatment prescribed, or extra services have been provided, you'll have to pay the cost out of your own pocket. In Germany, any fees paid are not normally reimbursed.

Have you been charged for your treatment? When you get home, apply to your national health insurance organisation to have costs reimbursed.

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