Medical And Health Care For Tourists In Germany
Germany has some of the finest medical care available in the world. Did you know?
While traveling may be full of little stresses, like worrying what would happen to you if you got sick, this is not something to fear in this country. Here, you don’t have to worry about being trapped in some sub-standard hospital. You are going to get high-quality care from well-trained professionals.
If you live in Germany, you are part of the Statutory Health Insurance, German: gesetzliche Krankenversicherung, which is part of the Social Security a.k.a. Sozialversicherung. You can learn more about it on the Healthcare in Germany page.
Yet if you are a traveler, you are not part of the system. This concerns some, but don’t fret. Even as a guest you can still access excellent treatment during your stay, with a minimum of fuss.
The key is that you will need to pay out of pocket for the care. You can then be reimbursed by your home healthcare provider system. This is a general rule, so you may want to investigate with your health care provider to be sure of the details.
This cash-for-care system means that for a sudden case of the flu, small cuts, chipped teeth and so on you can simply go to the appropriate doctor or hospital and get care. Germany has more practicing specialists per thousand people than any other country in the world, so lines are short. You will not need to wait for weeks to see a doctor — same day or next day will be available.
If you are staying at a hotel they can help you get an appointment. They may also link you with the Ärztlicher Hausbesuchsdienst, or Physician’s House Call Service, which is run in many communities as a regular service. In this case, you will receive a personal visit at your hotel from the doctor.
Alternatively, it may be called Ärztlicher Bereitschaftsdienst. In most cases, however, you would simply ask for the Notarzt, the emergency doctor.
Many pharmacies will also give you recommendations for physicians. In fact, pharmacies can be an excellent first stop as most have very knowledgeable staff. As the over-the-counter cures vary country to country, you may find they have a good treatment for your sickness on hand.
In all German cities — down to the small villages — will you find a Apotheke that is available for you 24/7. Although the lights may be off, if the Apotheke is one with Bereitschaftsdienst you can ring the boss out of bed if need be. Else, look at the plate outside to see which nearby pharmacy does have this 24/7 service that night.
For more severe illness, keep in mind that Germany is a world leading in medical innovation. Heart treatments, brain and nerve surgeries and even cancer treatments attract millions of medical tourists each year. Again, specialists are available quickly to treat even very complex ailments.
Emergency care is also very good and amazingly fast. Emergency Medical Services are a mandated task for municipal governments and strictly regulated for quality and efficiency. Nationwide, the network is strong enough that you can have a staffed medical helicopter at the accident scene within 15 minutes no matter where you are in Germany.
Thus, even as a tourist or visitor to Germany you can have all the benefits of the advanced German medical science. With services like the Ärztlicher Hausbesuchsdienst, you may even receive more personalized care than you would at home!
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