If you need to see a doctor in Germany you should ask your colleagues or acquaintances for a recommendation. Your local classified directory (Yellow Pages/Gelbe Seiten) will provide you with a list of all of doctors, listed according to their field of expertise. It is often advisable to consult a general practitioner first ("Hausarzt"), who will then refer you to a specialist if necessary. You should always ring the doctor's clinic in advance to make an appointment. Do not forget to take your health insurance card with you when going to the doctor.
In the event of an accident or emergency, you will be given an appointment immediately or on the same day. In non-urgent cases, you will probably have to wait a couple of days or even weeks for an appointment, particularly if you want to see a dentist or a specialist.
As an employee, you most certainly have health insurance – either under the statutory health insurance system or as a member of a private health insurance fund. If you become ill, your health insurance will cover the cost of medical treatment. The statutory health insurance system includes the following benefits:
If your spouse is not employed, he or she may be covered under your statutory health insurance policy at no extra charge to you. The same holds true for your children.
Moreover, your health insurance policy automatically includes long-term care insurance. Your long-term care insurance is activated if, for example, you need nursing care because of a serious illness that prevents you from caring for yourself.
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As a patient covered by statutory health insurance, you will have almost no out-of-pocket expenses. Rather than billing you, your physician will submit a bill directly to your health insurance provider.
However you will be asked for a minor additional contribution for all medicine to be taken from the pharmacy.