O let me put down my personal experiences in this blog article. It is never pleasant to feel sick, especially not if it is an emergency. And on Sundays, most doctors will be closed. Though, you can still get medical help. Here are a few options! Also, let me put this down right at the start: Call 112 in a medical emergency!
#1 It’s the weekend, or in the middle of the night. I don’t feel well. Whom can I call for help?
Imagine: It’s Sunday, and all doctors are at home with their families. Where to go?
In Germany, you can always call a doctor if you require medical attention. Even on the weekends or at night. When all doctor’s practices are closed, you can call 116 117. Here you can talk directly to a German doctor. You can also call this number during the day if you feel you cannot leave the house.
So, let me sum up when to call 116 117:
- You can call this number if you have a fever above 39,5 Celcius,
- If you need stitches for a deep cut,
- In case of a broken bone,
- If you are in acute pain
At least, that is what I have been told! It would be best if you always tried to see a doctor during regular opening hours first of all. And you must call an ambulance in a life-threatening situation. For any cases in between, this number is the one to call.
Once you have called the number, they will usually send a doctor to come and see you personally. The doctor will give you medicine on the spot. In the worst case, he will call an ambulance to take you to the hospital.
In some cases, you will be asked to come to a hospital or an open emergency doctor’s practice. Sometimes you’ll need to seek out the local emergency pharmacy to collect your medicine.
#2 Medical emergency in Germany – what to do!?
If you require medical attention immediately, call 112.
It is the emergency number in Germany for the fire brigade and medical emergencies. If you ring this number, please indicate
- where you live (address),
- who you are, and
- what is wrong.
They will send an ambulance to you, which should arrive very quickly! Only call the emergency hotline in case of a medical emergency!
Symptoms could include but are not limited to:
- not being able to breathe,
- persistent bleeding,
- experiencing paralyzation on one side of your body,
- persistent excruciating pain
You can also drive to a hospital (Krankenhaus) yourself in an emergency. You can report to the Accident and Emergency (Ambulanz / Notaufnahme) at any hospital. For this, just google “Krankenhaus + your city. ” Call ‘112’ for high emergency cases; call ‘116 117′ for other emergencies. Both numbers work 24/7.
#3 Going to the hospital in Germany
First of all, the German word for hospital is ‘Krankenhaus.’ You can easily google it.
Once you arrive at the hospital, there is usually a central reception. And also an A&E. This is for all the emergencies! Make sure to bring your Gesundheitskarte (proof of health insurance) and your passport when you go to a hospital.
So, you are wondering who pays for the hospital visit? It depends on your type of health insurance.
There are various options here, for example:
- public health insurance provider,
- private health insurance provider
- travel insurance provider
My experience is that it is always best to call your provider and ask! It has come in handy to always carry around my health insurance provider’s hotline in my purse! So I can always ring them up.
#4 Why do I call the fire brigade in case of emergency in Germany?!
Firstly, the emergency numbers in Germany are 110 (police) and 112 (fire brigade). Strangely enough, in Germany, you call the fire brigade in case of health-related emergencies.
The reason is, however, simple. Having one hotline for all emergencies makes coordination easier. nce you call them, they will ask you questions like where you are, what happened, and so on.
Quickly afterward, they will forward your information to the nearest hospital or fire brigade – depending on the kind of emergency you are reporting. Importantly, don’t be confused in the following case. If someone has a heart attack and a German says, ‘I’m calling the fire brigade’!
Haha. What that person means to say is,
‘I’m calling for help!’
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