Who should I contact in Germany in the case of a disease? Depending on the severity and development of the disease, you either visist a general practitioner, a specialist or a clinic. After the treatment, a therapy in a rehabilitation facility is possible.
Health care insurance in Germany is obligatory. This ensures, that every citizen has the right to treatment even in the case of severe and expensive disease. Health care is financed by the health insurance contributions of the citizens and their employers. Tax revenues are added in the form of grants.
When only minor symptoms such as headaches, back pain or limb pain occur, you make an appointment with the general practitioner. A general practitioner completed five years of further training in general medicine or in internal medicine after his studies.
In Germany, there are 33 different fields in which doctors can further educate themselves, like for example surgery, ophthalmology or gynecology. Usually, a specialist completed such a training which takes 5 or 6 years. He either works as an established specialist in a practice or in a clinic. In Germany, the free choice of doctor prevails, which means that with certain symptoms like eyestrain or earache, you can choose an ophthalmologist or an ENT specialist yourself and make an appointment.
There are different types of clinics in Germany: private clinics, hospitals run by the church and public hospitals (run by the federal states and the communities). Patients only go there in emergency situations or if they need major interventions. Insured persons have to pay extra for board and lodging in the case of a longer hospital stay.
After a treatment in the hospital or in a specialist practice, you can visit a rehabilitation facility. There, the organism is rebuilt by physiotherapeutic treatment and psychological care. There are also rehabilitation facilities for the mentally ill and people who want to overcome their addiction.
As a patient from abroad you can be treated in Germany. Employees of the hospital’s International Office or patient mediators take care of the organization. However, caution is advised when choosing a mediator, as not everyone works seriously.
In the video, a young mother visits a German general practitioner.