Hospital stays and emergencies
Hospital admissions are arranged by the attending GP (Verordnung von stationärer Krankenhausbehandlung) (‘Hospital Inpatient Treatment Regulations‘). You must bring the insurance card and, in the case of outpatient operations, the referral document with you. In certain circumstances, the social welfare agency will assume hospital and patient transport costs if:
- the applicant is registered in the relevant town/or resides there;
- the applicant is not covered by health insurance;
- the applicant receives constant help with living expenses or does not have sufficient income and/or assets.
The legal basis for this is the regulations governing the granting of assistance to people who are ill according to Book XII of the Social Code. Application takes place informally in the offices of social services. Necessary documents for the application:
- Except in emergencies, the hospital admission letter from the GP or specialist is to be submitted prior to a hospital stay. This admission letter is to be stamped by social services (as a rule not as approval, but as evidence of notification for the purposes of allowing payments to the hospital);
- Personal document;
- Evidence of total income;
- Evidence of any assets and savings;
- Evidence of receipt of social security benefits;
- Rental agreement or evidence of current rent and housing allowance and
- Recent bank statements.In an emergency, you are allowed to visit any hospital or doctor.
TIP: In a life-threatening situation, the doctor must treat you or refer you to the right agency.
The costs of inpatient treatment are settled directly with the health insurance funds or the agencies bearing the costs. All necessary services are reimbursed on the basis of general care rates and case-based fixed amounts.
The payment of a share of hospital costs by people insured by statutory health insurance funds is provided for by law. This currently amounts to 10 euros per day for no longer than 28 days per calendar year.
If you require urgent medical treatment at night or at the weekend, you can telephone the duty service operated by health insurance fund doctors (telephone number 116 117) or you can call an emergency doctor. In the case of accidents and life-threatening conditions, you can call the emergency services: You can dial these numbers free of charge! You can contact the ambulance service on telephone number 112 and the police on telephone number 110. Always give the following information when you dial these numbers:
- Where the incident has taken place?
- What has taken place?
- How many injured/ill people there are?
- What injuries/illnesses there are?
- Wait for further questions