Visiting the Doctor in Germany



German hospitals provide high-quality health care services considered one of the best in the world. Doctors are not hard to find, but there could be some issues regarding language.

Expats may contact their embassies to ask for a list of English-speaking practitioners in their respective area, although referrals or word-of-mouth may be the best way to find good doctors in Germany who can also speak English. 

Scheduling appointments

In Germany, most people see a general practitioner first before being referred to a specialist. In rare cases, they may visit the latter on their own. Appointments are usual but not necessary but long waiting lines will leave most expats no choice but to call and set a date and time for their visit.    

An expat who is on state insurance will have to present a plastic ID card supplied by his employer when coming to visit a doctor. In general, clinics that honour public insurance will display a sign that reads Kassenarztor Alle Kassen. Fees will be paid in cash, and the insured can later file for reimbursement. However, those who are treated by doctors not enlisted with the public insurance scheme will not be reimbursed. For those who have a private international health insurance plan, you must pay upfront and will be reimbursed by your insurer.    

There are some practitioners who only honour private or international health insurance for expats, so it is wise to check with the secretary before making appointments. In a typical clinic or hospital in Germany, credit cards are rarely accepted, so it is best to have cash on hand when coming for checkup or treatment.