Initially, it might be rather difficult for a new citizen to cope with the German health system which is, however, well organized. So some features will be described here which are important to know when requiring medical treatment in Germany.
ACUTE EMERGENCY TREATMENT:
Emergency treatment will be necessary in case of disease or injury requiring immediate medical treatment. This may be a fracture of a leg, heavy bleeding, breathing troubles, intoxication or sudden unconsciousness. In case of emergency, call for help by dialling 112. You can dial this number from everywhere in Germany via cellphone or on the landline without dialling code. You have to describe the type of emergency as precisely as possible. Terminate the call only after having clarified all important questions as regards the type of emergency.
TREATMENT IN A MEDICAL PRACTICE:
In Germany, a distinction is made between family practitioners and specialists. Besides the family doctors, general practitioners – and often also internists – practise as family doctors. Most diseases are treated by the family doctors. If you have got a cold, feel sick from vomiting or diarrhoea, you should see your family doctor. He or she will examine you and, if need be, give you a prescription that you then can take to a pharmacy. Should special examinations be necessary, the family doctor will refer you to a specialist. For particular diseases – e.g. of children –, it may be reasonable to directly see a specialist. If you are not sure how to proceed, you may in any case see your family doctor who will advise you.
Information about the physicians in Wolfsburg who speak your mother tongue is available on the sites:
If you cannot reach your doctor during the night, at the weekend or Wednesday afternoon, you may go to an urgent care facility (telephone No. 05361 19292).
In Germany, for treatment or surgery in a hospital, you will need a referral from your family doctor or attending specialist unless your condition requires immediate hospitalization.
Most persons living and working in Germany are members of the German statutory health insurance system and have a personal health insurance card (chip card) he/she must present every time he/she sees a doctor. If you do not have such a chip card that you can present to the doctor, you will initially have to pay the doctor’s bills yourself and then recover the costs from your health insurance.
In Germany, drugs and surgical dressings are sold in pharmacies. Some drugs – so-called drugs available only on medical prescription – can be obtained in pharmacies only if you present a prescription from your attending doctor. In the pharmacy, you can also get advice on health questions. Outside the regular opening hours, an emergency pharmacy service is available during the night, at weekends and on Sundays and public holidays. Please take from the local newspaper which pharmacy is open. A list of the open pharmacies can also be found on the door of the pharmacies, which all work on a rotating basis.
Emergency and important telephone numbers:
Police: Heßlinger Straße 27, 38440 Wolfsburg, phone 110
Fire brigade, rescue service, emergency physician: phone 112
Number of poison control centre: phone 0551 19240
Medical emergency services: Sauerbruchstraße 7, 38440 Wolfsburg, phone 05361 19292
Klinikum Wolfsburg (Hospital): Sauerbruchstraße 7, 38440 Wolfsburg, phone 05361 80-0
AWO Psychiatry Centre: Vor dem Kaiserdom 10, 38154 Königslutter, phone 05353 90-0
Health Office: Rosenweg 1a, 38446 Wolfsburg, phone 05361 28-2020
Social-psychiatric Services: Rosenweg 1a, 38446 Wolfsburg, phone 05361 28-2040