Germany has an exceptionally high level of care and Berlin is no exception. There are facilities for basic care, high-end medicine, prevention to rehabilitation. Germans in general are concerned with healthy living, despite the prevalence of beer drinking and cigarette smoking. Berlin also has a great breadth of scientific research facilities and labs for pharmaceutical brands such as like Bayer, Pfizer and Berlin-chemie.
Germany has Europe's oldest universal health care system. The origins lie in Otto von Bismarck's Social legislation from 1883. Originally only intended for the elderly, low-income, and disabled, these measures have been, Accident Insurance Bill of 1884, and Old Age and Disability Insurance Bill of 1889. As mandatory health insurance, these bills originally applied only to low-income workers and certain government employees; their coverage, and expanded to encompass the entire population.
An appointment should be made in advance of a visit. People with public insurance should be able to select a government approved doctor and make an appointment. There is usually only a wait of about a week for a general practitioner, but an appointment with a specialist may take much longer. For acute illnesses or accidents, you will be given an appointment on the same day. Few practices are open on Saturdays, and only emergency services can be accessed on Sundays. Patients pay a quarterly practice fee of 10 euro.
After an exam, patients may be prescribed medication for which they will receive a prescription. A prescribed medication is charged a fixed price of 5 euro per item and will be paid for at the pharmacy.
Call-a-doc is a useful resource to find an English speaking doctors in the area. You can consult the website, or call: 01804 2255 2362.
Websites like www.aerzte-berlin.de (German) are extremely useful in finding a physician in your area.
With so much to deal with before leaving your home country, (taxes, moving house, paperwork etc.) the careful planning of your expatriation to Berlin is an essential step. As far as healthcare is concerned, your local social security scheme won’t be accompanying you to your host country and, once abroad, you might be surprised by the care system you find in Germany. So, before leaving, make sure you have appropriate cover!
EasyExpat.com works in partnership with APRIL International to provide specific insurance solutions for travelling or staying outside your country of nationality.
Designed for either short or long stays, APRIL International’s insurance policies offer protection against any problems that might arise before departure or during your time in Germany: cancelling your trip, medical expenses following an illness or accident, needing to be repatriated, causing damage to a third party or losing your luggage.
For more information on expat health insurance in Germany, visit our partner APRIL International