Emergency Treatment in Germany

This article provides you with information on emergency treatment during a trip to Germany. We have tried to include all the relevant information, however it should be considered as a guide only. Especially in connection with your national health insurance, there may be exceptions or difficult individual cases.

EU-citizens travelling to Germany

  • EU-citizens with statutory health insurance should ask their national insurance for the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before leaving to Germany. This card is included in your insurance and causes no additional costs.
  • When getting sick or involved in an accident you have to present this EHIC to the German doctor or in a German hospital before treatment. The necessary medical expenses will be obtained.
  • Normally you do not have to pay for the treatment. However, please note that some health professionals may not know the mechanism of the EHIC. Therefore, we would recommend you to carefully check any form before signing, in order to make sure that all the information concerning your insurance is correct.
  • The EHIC enables you to benefit from medical treatments under the same conditions as a person insured in Germany. These can slightly differ from the conditions in your home country.
  • If you are not able to present your EHIC, you will have to pay for the treatment according to the tariffs for the German private insurance which are usually higher.
  • If you have a chronic condition and are likely to need treatment abroad, you should contact your health insurance for information about appropriate medical centres for your stay in Germany and any associated costs.
  • It may be useful to pay for an additional travel insurance that covers additional costs such as the transport back home. Compare their offer with the benefits covered by your regular health insurance.

Third countries (non-EU-citizen)

  • If you are not a citizen of an EU-Member State you should check if your home country has a special agreement with Germany regarding to social insurance.
  • If this is not the case, you will have to pay the costs for the medical treatment yourself. We recommend signing a travel insurance that covers any medical or transport costs when abroad.


  • You find a large network of pharmacies in all towns. However their opening hours are generally the same as of other shops, which means they are closed during the night, on Sundays and bank holidays.
  • During that time there is always an emergency pharmacy whose address can be found at the closed pharmacies. Alternatively this information can be obtained online by searching for “Notapotheke” and the name of the city.
  • For some types of medicine a prescription provided by a doctor is necessary, other medications are sold over the counter. The pharmacist will be able to give you further information.
  • For prescription medications you must pay a deductible of 10 % of the price of the medication with a minimum amount of 5 € and a maximum amount of 10 €.
  • In case you had to pay the full price in advance, ask the pharmacist to provide you with a detailed invoice that you can present to your national health insurance for refund.

Emergency Numbers   

  • Medical emergencies: 112
  • Police emergencies: 110
  • Fire Service emergencies: 112

For further information, the European Consumer Centres (ECCs) will be pleased to help you. Here you can find further information and a complete list of all European Consuner Centres.

Private health insurance

If you have a private health insurance, check your contract carefully. There may be differences concerning the reimbursement of medical treatment abroad. It is advisable to contact your insurance for detailed information.

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Innovation Council and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Executive Agency (EISMEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.