Getting Urgent Medical Care in Germany - VisaGuide.World (2024)

Living as a foreigner in Germany can often be overwhelming and frightening. Not knowing how emergency systems work can make this experience even more daunting and stressful. However, with the right knowledge and understanding of the emergency care system in Germany, you can gain a sense of security and confidence in handling unforeseen situations.

By familiarizing yourself with the emergency number, knowing where to seek medical assistance, and understanding the process of accessing emergency care, you can navigate these challenges more effectively and ensure your well-being in times of need.

What Should I Do if I Need Emergency Assistance in Germany?

If you need emergency medical assistance in Germany, call 110 for police, 112 for ambulatory or fire services, or 116 117 for on-call medical services— depending on the seriousness of the situation.

Calling 110/112 for Immediate Emergencies

If you need immediate emergency medical assistance in Germany, dial 110 for police assistance or 112 for an ambulance or the fire brigade. Please note that whichever number you dial, the dispatcher will try to obtain the following information from you while arranging help, so please try to keep calm and answer the questions as clearly as possible:

  • What’s wrong? The agent will ask you to briefly describe the nature of the emergency or the medical issue you face. Provide a clear and concise overview of the situation to help them assess the level of urgency.
  • The location where the person who is calling is at that moment? It is crucial to provide the exact location of the emergency. Provide as many details as possible, such as the address, landmarks, or any other relevant information that can help emergency services locate you quickly.
  • What is his/her name? While not mandatory, providing your name can help emergency services address you properly and potentially assist in follow-up communication or care coordination.

Please note that this number is reserved only for life-threatening emergencies such as the following:

  • Chest pain or signs of a heart attack.
  • Severe injuries or accidents.
  • Difficulty breathing or choking.
  • Loss of consciousness.
  • Suspected stroke.
  • Allergic reactions (anaphylaxis).
  • Uncontrolled bleeding.

If you are not experiencing an immediate emergency, please refrain from calling to avoid blocking the line for actual emergencies.

Calling 116 117 for Non-Life Threatening Emergencies

If you face a non-life-threatening medical situation in Germany and require medical assistance outside of regular office hours, you can call 116 117. This number connects you to the on-call medical services, also known as “Ärztlicher Bereitschaftsdienst” or “Kassenärztlicher Notdienst.”

When calling 116 117, trained healthcare professionals will assess your condition and provide medical advice or guidance with the following:

  • Mild fever or flu-like symptoms.
  • Minor cuts, bruises, or wounds that do not require immediate attention.
  • Non-severe allergic reactions or rashes.
  • Urinary tract infections or mild gastrointestinal issues.
  • Ear aches or mild eye irritations.
  • Non-urgent prescription refills or medication inquiries.
  • General medical advice or concerns.
  • Follow-up inquiries after a recent doctor’s visit.
  • Non-emergency dental issues.
  • Mild respiratory symptoms or common cold symptoms.

How to Find an Emergency Center?

Emergency centers or departments (Notaufnahme) are found at most hospitals in Germany and are equipped to deal with emergency cases. To find one, search for the nearest hospital with an emergency room to your area and mark it down as soon as you settle in Germany so you can have it ready in case you need it.

You can find the emergency rooms by searching the local directories (Deutsches Krankenhausverzeichnis—DKV) to find the nearest hospitals or by asking your GP. Please note that the ambulance crew will transport you to the nearest hospital if you require emergency transportation via ambulance.

How to Find an Emergency Doctor in Germany?

To find an emergency or on-call doctor (Notarzt), you must call the 112 emergency number. The emergency doctor or “Notarzt” is certified by the Emergency Medicine Board (Notfallmedizin) and is equipped to deal with emergency cases. If you need ambulatory services, the emergency doctor will arrive at the scene, usually with a separate vehicle (Notarzt-Einsatzfahrzeug).

The emergency doctor will serve as chief and carry all the responsibilities of dealing with patients, transportation, and medical direction to other staff members.

How to Find an Emergency Pharmacy?

To find an emergency pharmacy that is working outside of usual working hours, you need to head out to this website here or to this one here. Both are official web pages that list on-call pharmacies, and you can even find one nearest to you.

What if I have a Dental Emergency?

If you have a dental emergency in Germany, here are some steps you can take:

  • Contact your regular dentist. Call your regular dentist first if you have a dental emergency during office hours. They can provide guidance, schedule an appointment, or direct you to an emergency dental service if necessary.
  • On-call dental service (Zahnärztlicher Notdienst). The on-call dental service, “Zahnärztlicher Notdienst”, provides emergency dental care outside regular office hours, including weekends and holidays. You can find the contact information for the on-call dental service in your area by checking online directories, calling your regular dentist, or contacting the local dental association.
  • University dental clinics. Some university dental clinics in Germany provide emergency dental services. Contact the nearest dental school or university hospital for emergency dental care options.
  • Local hospitals. In severe cases where immediate dental care is needed, you can visit the emergency department of a local hospital. They can assess the situation, provide initial treatment, or refer you to a dentist if required.

Germany Emergency Contact Numbers

Here is a list of the main emergency contact numbers you may need to know while in Germany:

ServiceLandline Contact NumberMobile Contact Number
Emergency rescue service, fire brigade112112
Medical on-call service116 117116 117
Pharmacy emergency service0800/00 22 83322 833
Telephone counseling0800/11 10 1110800/11 10 222
Telephone for children and young people111116
Blocking emergency calls for EC cards, credit cards, cellphone cards116 116116 116
Authority number of the public administration115115
Cell phone emergency calls from car insurers0800/66 83 6630800/66 83 663

Do I Need to Pay for Emergency Medical Services in Germany?

Most emergency calls, such as for the police, ambulance, fire brigade, etc., are free for all callers. However, some specific services may incur small charges, for example, the emergency pharmacy call may cost 69 cents per minute.

Can I Call 911 in Germany?

You cannot call 911 in Germany, as that is the emergency number for the US. That being said, unofficially, some mobile phones may accept this number as an emergency call. The same is not valid for landlines or phone booths; you’re still advised to memorize the national emergency numbers in Germany.

Getting Urgent Medical Care in Germany - VisaGuide.World (2024)
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