BAMF - Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge - Help with illness and accidents

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Help in the case of illness and accidents

If you are ill you should visit a general practitioner (doctor) in your area. He or she will help you and refer you, if necessary, to a specialist doctor.

display as attention: Important information

The costs for medical treatment, a stay in hospital or medicines are paid for by your health insurance fund as a rule, except for the co-payment that you have to make. It is therefore important to belong to a statutory or private health insurance fund.

Most people in Germany are insured with a statutory health insurance fund. This is compulsory up to a specific level of income. If you earn more, you can choose whether you would like to remain in the statutory health insurance fund or pay into a private health insurance fund.

You can collect medicines that have been prescribed for you from a pharmacy. There, you must only pay a small proportion of the cost yourself (a maximum of EUR 10), as your health insurance fund will pay the rest. Medicines for children and juveniles under 18 are free of charge if they are prescribed by a doctor. If you are insured with a private health insurance fund you, must initially pay for visits to the doctor and for medicines yourself. Then you can send the invoice to your health insurance fund, which will reimburse the costs.

display as attention: Emergencies

In the event of accidents, emergencies or if you fall ill outside consulting hours, you can call the emergency doctor service or, in cases of extreme emergency, you can contact the emergency service (ambulance) directly.

The telephone number of the emergency service, which is valid throughout Germany, is 112.

Chemists (pharmacies) have a night and emergency service. You will find up-to-date information on this in your local newspaper.

Help in your language

If you only speak a little German and would therefore like to visit a doctor who speaks your language, the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians in the Federal Land in which you live can help. You can find the addresses and telephone numbers of the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians on this website:, menu tab Service/Arztsuche.

Medical confidentiality

Doctors are not allowed to pass on information about you to others – that is to authorities, your employer or family members – without your permission. Sometimes this also applies to information about the health of your children. For example, your 16-year-old daughter’s gynaecologist cannot give you information about her examination results without your daughter’s permission.

display as address: Information available locally

You can obtain further information about local services in your area from:

  • the migration advisory service for adult immigrants and the youth advisory service,
  • family doctors,
  • health insurance schemes,
  • the local health authority.
Date 18 December 2015

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