Health Questions

We would like to extend a warm welcome to you here once more. We wish you a wonderful time at HU and hope that you enjoy your stay in Berlin in good health.

If you require medical attendance, we would like to provide you with information on the topic of health in this document in order to ensure that you are well cared for in the event of illness.


Correct Health Insurance Coverage:

Health Insurance

In Germany, you are obligated to be insured through a German statutory health insurance provider (e.g. AOK, BARMER, DAK and Die Techniker). This is a requirement for your enrolment, employment contracts, and the application for a residence permit.

The statutory health insurance (gesetzliche Krankenversicherung/GKV) is part of the social security system in Germany. It fully or partially covers medical treatments in case of illness, following accidents or due to maternity as well as medication.

Citizens from EU member states as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland must bring their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which is valid as proof of entitlement in Germany. You will take your EHIC with you to your doctor’s appointment. The doctor will then bill the health insurance provider directly.

If the statutory health insurance is not suitable for you (e.g. private health insurance in your home country, having exceeded 14 semesters in your studies, a brief stay in Germany), you can take out private health insurance. It is important that the private insurance coverage is sufficient (bigger medical procedures, prenatal and maternity care as well as childbirth are often excluded). Subsequent to a visit to the doctor or a medical treatment, you often have to pay the costs yourself initially before your private health insurance reimburses you for your medical expenses. Please seek advice regarding your insurance options and note that once you take out private health insurance, you cannot revert to public health insurance most of the time.

It is important that you have health insurance from the first day of your stay in Germany. Since the Statutory health insurance often only begins on the date of enrollment (April 1st or October 1st) or with the start of the employment contract, there might be period between the day you enter the country and the first day of insurance, that must be covered (e.g. with travel health insurance for the remaining days).
Students can find more information regarding health insurance in the guide for international students following this link or you can contact with specific questions.

Doctoral candidates and reserachers should contact the International Scholar Services:

Other type of insurance
There are other type of insurances - accident, theft, household effects, etc. – that can be taken out, depending on your circumstances and security needs. However, personal liability insurance is generally recommended.

Finding the right doctor:

In case of minor illness such as a cold, flu, minor injuries, etc., it is common in Germany to contact the so-called family doctor or general practitioner. In case of a special illness, the family doctor can refer you to a specialist. If you suffer from an illness that has already been treated by a specialist in your home country, you can also contact one of these directly without consulting your family doctor in advance.

Basically, it is up to you to decide which doctor's practice or hospital you would like to be treated in, as long as your health insurance company is accepted there. Please make sure in advance that your health insurance is recognized in the respective doctor's practice in order to avoid expensive medical bills.

When searching for a suitable family doctor you may want to visit the website from the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians. Your health insurance company may also be able to help you find a suitable doctor. Health insurance companies have detailed information and offers on their websites regarding health or professional help with illnesses.

Making an appointment:

Many family doctors’ practices offer open consultation hours without the need of booking an appointment in advanced. However, if you wish to avoid long waiting periods and there is no acute illness that needs to be treated urgently, it is recommended to contact the practice by phone before the visit and make an appointment. Depending on the practice, finding a free appointment can take up to several weeks (especially for specialists). If you are privately insured, you must cover your medical bill by transfering the amount according to the information given by the doctor's practice or hospital, the amount will then be reimbursed to you by your insurance company. Please take your insurance card with you every time you visit a doctor - it has to be checked every new quarter.



In Germany you can only buy medication in pharmacies. Exceptions, such as headache pills, are available over the counter, but most medication requires a medical prescription The statutory health insurance will usually cover part of the costs for a prescription; however, a prescription fee may have to be paid at the pharmacy. Sometimes a private additional payment is necessary.


In case of emergency:

In case you require medical assistance in the middle of the night, on the weekend or on a public holiday, emergency services and night pharmacies are always available. You can find the nearest night pharmacy here:

Apotheken Notdienst Berlin | Notfallapotheke & Nachtdienst in der Nähe (

If you need medical assistance, the first thing you should do is contact a family doctor nearby. Generally, an answering machine will let you know where you can report an emergency if the doctor cannot be reached. If you require immediate help, you can also go to the emergency room of the nearest hospital. Here you will find an overview of the hospitals in Berlin

Krankenhäuser und Kliniken – BerlinFinder –

In the event of a life-threatening emergency that requires immediate assistance, call an ambulance at 112.

Healthcare / Hospitals - selected addresses:

Charité Krankenhaus
Philippstraße 10
10117 Berlin

Rescue center, first aid, emergency room: (+49 30) 450 53 10 00

Central: (+49 30) 450 50

Vivantes Klinikum im Friedrichshain
Landsberger Allee 49
10243 Berlin

Rescue center:(+49 30) 130 23 17 35

Statutory health insurance physicians Emergency service: (+49 30) 310-031

Nationwide number for medical On-call service of the associations of statutory health insurance physicians:116 117

Poison Control: (+49 30) 1 92 40

Dental emergency service (information):(+49 30) 89 00 43 33



In the fight against the corona pandemic, more and more people are being vaccinated in Germany. Who can be vaccinated and when is decided according to a priority list. Whether you can already be vaccinated and other informations to be considered can be found here:

Impfung gegen Corona (SARS-CoV-2) - Dienstleistungen - Service Berlin -

Psychological and pastoral advice:

In case yo are looking for psychological and / or pastoral advice, you can contact the following institutions:

At the HU:


Information on pandemic mental health support can be found here