German hospitals and clinics fall into three broad categories: privately owned, state funded and those belonging to charitable organizations. Outpatient clinics can also be found in many university districts.
The level of medical care is usually to high standard throughout Germany Many providers invest in the latest technologies to support and enhance medical care.
Hospitals are usually open to any insured patient. However, some private hospitals and clinics only accept patients who have private medical insurance or can afford to fund the full cost of treatment themselves. In most instances, patients are referred to a hospital by a medical practitioner. Care and treatment is then managed by doctors and staff within the hospital.
Medical treatment is expensive in Germany. UK citizens should be aware there is no free treatment available in German hospitals and clinics. Medical costs have to be self-funded by the patient or an insurance company. Patients are charged for treatment – even in the event of an accident or emergency. It is essential that patients who have only statutory insurance check to ensure they are covered for the full cost of treatment. All patients should check the funding position with their insurance company when admission to hospital is optional
Hospitals and clinics require proof of medical insurance at the time of admission (admission is unlikely to be refused in emergency situations). A health insurance card, doctor’s referral letter and valid passport are also required. State-funded patients are charged a nominal daily rate for their first 14 days in hospital. Patients with private medical insurance are covered for all costs.
Hospital accommodation is dependent upon the individual patient’s insurance scheme. Privately insured patients are likely to be accommodated in either a single or double room. State insured patients are more likely to be placed in a room with multiple beds. Patients should arrive with a dressing gown, nightclothes and all necessary sundries for personal hygiene. Individual possessions should be kept to the absolute minimum, given that storage space is limited in most hospitals and clinics.
Accident and Emergency departments (A&E) are named ‘Notaufnahme’ in German hospitals. A&E services are provided throughout the day.