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Medical Issues

Emergency Services

If you are in urgent need of medical attention at the weekend or during the night then you can report to the "Ambulanz" or "Notaufnahme" ward (Accident and Emergency) in hospitals or call a doctor. The addresses and telephone numbers of doctors can be found in the local newspapers under "Notdienst" or "Ärztlicher Notdienst", or in the telephone directory.
The emergency numbers in Germany are 110 (Police) and 112 (Fire Brigade).


In Germany there are numerous types of doctors, from GP’s ("Allgemeinmediziner") to specialists ("Fachärzte") such as eye specialists, dermatologists, etc. Most people have a GP as their "family doctor" ("Hausarzt"). This doctor can transfer people to specialists if necessary. In certain cases you can visit a specialist without consulting your family doctor first. Doctors have specific visiting hours when patients can seek advice. It is always recommendable to make an appointment as waiting times can be long. If a doctor is needed urgently, it is not necessary to make an appointment. The names and addresses of doctors can be found in the local telephone directory. The Yellow Pages ("Gelbe Seiten") list specialists.

Since the 1st of January 2004 you now have to pay – if you are insured with a public health insurer – a practice fee of ten euros each time you visit your doctor for the first time within each yearly quarter. This is regardless of whether you are visiting your general practitioner, a specialist doctor or a psychotherapist. You do not have to pay a fee if you have been referred by another doctor.


In Germany medicines can only be bought at pharmacies ("Apotheken"). Most medicines require a prescription from a doctor. The prescription drugs needed are written down on a prescription ("Rezept") by the doctor and taken to the pharmacy. The prescription is taken to the pharmacy by the patient and the pharmacist issues the medicines. A nominal fee is paid for each drug depending on the cost of each medicine. Some painkillers, such as headache tablets, are available at pharmacies without a prescription.

Private patients must pay the full price of the medicines and then claim this money back from their insurer.

There is always at least one pharmacy open in every area day and night. This is called the "Notdienst". In rural communities people may have to travel to the nearest village or town. The addresses of the pharmacies that are open on specific days are listed in local newspapers under "Apotheken-Notdienst". All pharmacies always have a sign to tell customers which pharmacy is open on which day.


Q: Does my insurance pay medication for chronical deseases?
A: No, you will have to pay for those medication, but your insurance at home may reimburse the costs.

Q: Do I need special vaccination for Germany?
A: There is no vaccination obligatory for entering Germany, but we do recommend you the following vaccination: Diphtheria and Tetanus

For more information please visit the website:

Q: Are there special heath risks?
A: We recommend you to be alert for the following health risks:


Risk of infection :
throughout the country
ticks (especially in grass, woods, forests and bushes)
Increased risk of transmission:
from April through October

Tick protection through skin-covering clothes; use of insect repellents (creams, lotions, sprays). Search you body for ticks and consult a doctor if you find a tick on your body. Be very careful while removing the tick or let the doctor do so. If you get infected you might have to take antibiotics.


Risk of infection :
throughout the country
durch Biss von streunenden Tieren
Increased risk of transmission:
from January through December

Keep away from stray animals (especially dogs and cats). If you get bitten consult a doctor.


The Global Studies Internship Program
is supported by:
HMWK DAAD Förstina