Tips around Health
Finding a doctor
In Germany there is a free choice of doctors, meaning you can pick your the one you prefer. A list of all medical doctors, specialists and dentists in Bochum can be found in the Yellow Pages or on the internet.
Doctors speaking other languages: http://www.kvwl.de/earzt/
If there is no acute problem, make an appointment by phone. That saves a lot of waiting time.
Everyone with health insurance receives an insurance card on which your insurance status and your address are kept. Medical data is not saved, however.
You have to show your insurance card when receiving any kind of medical treatment, not only at the doctor's, but also in clinics, at the physiotherapist's or psychotherapist's.
In addition to the surgery fee further extra payments may be necessary, e.g. 5,- € to 10,- € for prescription drugs or a 10,- € contribution a day for hospital stays.
Once the extra payments and surgery fees have exceeded a certain limit (2% of gross income), your health insurance takes over further costs. For the chronically ill and families there are special regulations.
Keep all receipts of surgery fees and extra payments, so that you can prove the costs to your health insurance.
Pharmacy (Bild: Photocase.com)Drugs that can't be sold without consultation are only available at pharmacies in Germany. Pharmacies, "Apotheken", can be recognised by the big red "A" above their door. Here you can buy over-the-counter as well as prescription drugs.
Prescription drugs cost the same everywhere, with over-the-counter drugs it might be worth comparing prices.
Pharmacies have about the same opening hours as normal shops, at night and at week-ends there are emergency services. At every pharmacy there are notices of what pharmacy nearby is on emergency service. Should you require prescription drugs outside of opening hours, first call the medical emergency service (Phone 0234/19292).
If you have to take medication regularly, bring it with you to Germany just in case it is not available in Germany.
Pharmacies in Bochum: http://www.apothekenbochum.de
Pharmacy emergeny service online: http://www.citylive.de/aponodie