What to do if you have a medical emergency in Germany?

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!

What are the medical emergency numbers in Germany?

In case of emergencies in Germany, it is important to know the appropriate phone numbers to call for assistance. The main emergency numbers are as follows:

  • Dial 112 for acute medical or fire-related emergencies. This number connects you to emergency services, including medical assistance and the fire brigade. The operator will also contact the police if necessary.
  • Dial 110 for immediate police assistance. This nationwide police hotline is used in situations such as crimes, accidents, or hazardous incidents. If you have been a victim or witness to a crime, dialing 110 will connect you to the police.
  • For medical assistance outside of regular office hours, dial 116 117 to reach the local on-call medical unit. They will provide guidance on the necessary steps to take, whether it involves a doctor’s visit or other medical assistance.

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

It is advisable to first seek medical assistance during regular opening hours, and only call the emergency number in life-threatening situations or when regular options are not available. Upon calling the emergency number, a doctor will be dispatched to provide on-site medical care, and if necessary, an ambulance will be called for transportation to the hospital. Depending on the situation, you may be directed to a hospital, an open emergency doctor’s practice, or a local emergency pharmacy to obtain necessary medication.

Medical emergency in Germany
 Only call the emergency hotline in case of a medical emergency! 

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.

Medical emergency in Germany
Make sure to bring your Gesundheitskarte (proof of health insurance) and your passport when you go to a hospital

How to go to 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:

  1. Public health insurance provider,
  2. Private health insurance provider
  3. Travel insurance provider
  4. Self-payment

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.

Medical emergency in Germany
The emergency numbers in Germany are 110 (police) and 112 (fire brigade)

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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