If you have a health problem, you first need to go to a general practitioner (GP) known as Hausarzt in German. A GP may either give you treatments or refer you to another doctor who has specific expertise in the problems you are probably having. You can find here the list of all GPs, along with dentists, and medical specialists in your local area.
You can call to make an appointment with the doctors before visiting the offices. Although you don't need an appointment in urgent cases, you may have to wait a while until you get to see the doctor.
A small reminder: some offices are closed on Wednesday mornings. It is not a general rule in Germany, thereby depending on the areas you are living in. That’s why we recommend you check out for the office hours and book an appointment in advance.
Here’s the list of emergency contacts which will come in handy for you
The pharmacy is called Apotheke in German. The opening hours are from Monday to Friday, from 8:30 am to 6:30 pm and Saturday mornings. Though they are closed on Sundays, there are some emergency pharmacies whose contact information you can find online.
This part is a little bit longer but since it’s very important, please bear with us! :D There are two categories of medicines: over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medicines.
For OTC medicines, you don't need to consult a doctor and purchase them at most drug stores in Germany, such as dm-drogerie markt or Rossmann. Some examples of non-prescription medicines include cough syrups, cold medicine, throat lozenges, and nose spray.
As the name suggests, prescription medicines require you to obtain a doctor's permission. The German Medical Preparations Act is very strict, so there's no way you can buy one on your own in Germany. Some medicines sold over-the-counter or even at the supermarkets in Germany are only available via prescription in other countries. In contrast, some countries may allow the selling of certain medicines that are not licensed for use in Germany. You always need to check the status of the drugs you want to buy in both your home country and Germany to make sure you don't encounter any trouble or inconvenience at the pharmacy. When you buy prescription medicine at the pharmacy, you will have to pay a small fee of around €5-13 and your insurance providers will pay the rest for you. This does not apply to non-prescription medicine though, so you will have to pay for them yourself.
Do you find this article helpful? We hope it is. If you have any further questions or something to add, feel free to drop us a message! It’s our pleasure to listen to you!