Medical Care and Emergency Numbers

Although we hope you will spend a save and healthy time in Göttingen we have collected a few important facts and numbers for you:

Fire department, rescue service: 112
Police, emergency calls, traffic accidents, assault: 110
Medical Assistance (out of office hours): 116117

The numbers 110 and 112 can be dialed free of charge from any regular phone, payphone or mobile. It is even possible to dial the emergency numbers without the SIM card or without knowing the mobile's PIN number. These numbers are valid for the emergency services through Germany.

If you urgently need a doctor at night, during a weekend, or on a public holiday, you may turn to the Notdienstzentrale Göttingen-Stadt (stand by duty).

The best strategy to find a good doctor is to ask friends or colleagues for a recommendation. Most doctors have at least a basic level of English, but not all the receptionists do. If you are looking for foreign languages-speaking doctors, please contact us. We have prepared a list of doctors.

Doctors' personalities and approaches to patients can vary widely. The German system does not require you to stay with one doctor if you dissatisfied, and you can switch as often as you like and "shop around" until you find someone you like. With most health problems, you are strongly advised to go to a general practitioner first. If you need special treatment, the doctor will give you a referral (Überweisung) for the appropriate specialist.

It is best to make an initial appointment before you are sick, so that you become a current patient of your chosen practice (Praxis). This way, when you do become sick, you are likely to get a same-day appointment with someone you know, and who knows you.

In Germany, medicine, including painkillers, can be purchased only at a pharmacy (Apotheke), no matter whether you have a prescription (Rezept) or if you are looking for over-the-counter drugs.

The law on prescriptions is very strict in Germany. Many medicines that you may be able to buy over the counter in your own country, such as antibiotics, must be prescribed by a doctor in Germany. However, some painkillers, such as headache tablets are available at pharmacies without a prescription. General supplies like cough drops, vitamins, and Band-Aids are also available at the drugstores DM and Rossmann, as well as many supermarkets.

With statutory health insurance, the majority of the costs of prescription medicines are paid for directly by your insurance company. You do pay a small nominal fee for each drug (Zuzahlungspflicht).

With a private health insurance, you pay for the drug and then file the prescription and the receipt for reimbursement.

Opening hours of pharmacies are similar to other shops: typically weekdays 09:00 am - 06:30 pm; Saturdays 09:00 am - 01:00 pm; in busy areas some have longer opening hours.

For emergencies, there is always at least one pharmacy open in every area day and night (Notdienst). You will receive this information in the window of each pharmacy, in the daily newspaper or on the Internet at (you need to enter the postal code on the left under "Notdienste finden").

All hospitals, except for some private clinics, are open to all insured patients. Normally doctors transfer patients to a hospital and control of treatment is then managed by a doctor there. When going to a hospital or clinic, take proof of your health insurance with you (although you're unlikely to be refused in cases of emergency). If you are admitted to hospital, your health insurance will cover the costs of that stay.

However, state insured patients pay a small daily rate for the first 28 days of their stay. The room you get depends on your health insurance scheme. If privately insured, you will probably get a single or double room. If you have a state insurance, you may have to share with two or three others. Bring a night-dress or pyjamas, towels, and toiletries to the hospital, as those are not provided.

In emergency cases, it is possible to go straight to the accident and emergency department (Notfallambulanz) of the hospital at any time.

If you have tooth pain during non-working hours of your dentist, get in touch with the Emergency Dentists' Sevice (German only).

Hospitals with accident and emergency departments (Notfallambulanz):

University Hospital (Universitätsklinikum)
Robert-Koch-Str. 40
37075 Göttingen
Phone: 0551 / 39-8605

Evangelisches Krankenhaus Weende e.v.
An der Lutter 24
37083 Göttingen
Phone: 0551 / 51 79 90

You can find further hospitals here