If you become ill or have a medical emergency at night or on a weekend, you have a large network of support services available in Germany. You can find an overview of the most important numbers and services here.
Important telephone numbers:
• Emergency medical service: 112
• Poison hotline: +49 30 19240
• Medical on-call service: 116 117
Pharmacies also have a night and emergency service.
The following are examples of medical emergencies (medizinische Notfälle):
- acute shortness of breath
- acute pain in the chest
- acute pain in the abdomen
- acute dizziness
- accidents and injuries
- complications during pregnancy
- acute mental distress
- acute danger of suicide
- drug-related emergency
- allergic shock
- loss of consciousness or coma.
In these cases you should seek immediate help by calling an ambulance or going to an emergency response centre or a doctor.
Important: please contact the staff of your reception centre for responsible persons and medical staff in case of emergency!
The Asylum Seekers Benefits Act (Asylbewerberleistungsgesetz, AsylbLG) also covers health care benefits. During the first 18 months of your stay, benefits cover the necessary medical and dental treatment in case of acute illness or pain, treatment with drugs and wound dressings, and other benefits needed for the recovery from or relief of illness or effects of illness.
Officially recommended vaccinations and medically advisable check-ups to prevent and detect illnesses or effects of illnesses are also covered. Pregnant women and women who have recently given birth may claim medical treatment and nursing care, midwifery care, medical drugs, surgical dressings and medical aids.
Additional benefits can be claimed if they are essential to ensure health in the individual case. People entitled to benefits under the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act who have a temporary residence permit pursuant to section 24 (1) of the Residence Act (Aufenthaltsgesetz, AufenthG) (granting of residence for temporary protection due to war in the country of origin) and have special needs (for example, from having suffered severe mental or physical violence) are entitled to the necessary medical or other assistance.
Doctors in private practices
In general, illnesses are diagnosed and treatment is prescribed by doctors working in individual or group practices (niedergelassene Ärztinnen und Ärzte). These doctors also issue prescriptions for medicines and can refer their patients for admission to a hospital for further treatment.
Doctors in private practice may bill the social services office (Sozialamt) or a statutory health insurance provider (Krankenkasse) for their services, or patients can pay for their treatment at the doctor’s office themselves. If you do pay yourself, you cannot be reimbursed afterwards.
Important: Most doctors see patients by appointment. You should therefore make an appointment, preferably by telephone. You can also make appointments online, for example on the website (in German only). Make sure you keep to the agreed date and time! Patients without an appointment can usually expect waiting times.
Doctors must keep medical confidentiality. They are not permitted to disclose the information they are entrusted with to third parties. Certain infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis, must be reported to the public health authority. This is the only way to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. This notification does not affect the processing of an asylum claim.
Important: Many doctors speak English or another language in addition to German. Please ask about this. If you do not speak German well, it is a good idea to take a person you trust and who speaks German to the doctor with you.
You will be treated in a hospital only if treatment at a doctor’s office is not sufficient. A stay in hospital (Krankenhaus) must be approved in advance. Only go to a hospital without first going to the doctor’s office if it is an emergency!
In Germany, many medicines may only be dispensed to patients by pharmacies (Apotheke). You can get certain medicines (verschreibungspflichtige Arzneimittel) from a pharmacist only if you present a doctor’s prescription. There are also many medicines that can be bought freely without a prescription. The costs of these will not be reimbursed by the relevant government agency.
The pharmacist will inform you about how to take the medicine.
At least one pharmacy near you will be on duty at all times of the day and night.
When they arrive in Germany, people with a physical or mental disability who have fled Ukraine face the challenge of finding information about accessible registration at their place of arrival, about their stay and about housing and care that meet their needs. This information must be available in a form that is accessible to people with a disability. The federal states are responsible for admitting people who have fled Ukraine and for providing benefits under the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act.
Please contact the agency responsible for you in the federal state where you are staying. Information from the federal states for refugees from Ukraine with and without a disability and for their support persons is available here:
- Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania:
- Lower Saxony:
- North Rhine-Westphalia:
Information about COVID-19
Yes, vaccinations are the way to end the pandemic. Enough vaccine is available, and it is easy to get an appointment for a vaccination. More than 160 million vaccinations have been given, but that is not yet enough. Please get a vaccination to help protect others too.
Widespread testing is a key element of a comprehensive strategy to fight the pandemic: testing quickly and precisely identifies the number and distribution of infections in Germany. This is necessary to break chains of infection and keep our health care system from being overwhelmed. Even with testing, it is still necessary to cover nose and mouth, wash hands regularly, stay 1.5 metres away from others and regularly air indoor spaces. Institutions are also required to maintain hygiene measures and monitor symptoms.
According to the current ordinance on testing, all Ukrainians are entitled to at least one free rapid test (PoC test) per week, whether they are vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 or not. More information on where to get tested is in English, Russian and other languages .
Vaccination certificates from Ukraine are recognised as valid if the vaccine used has been approved in the EU.
Pregnant women will receive medical care. The course of the pregnancy and your child’s development will be monitored. This will include regular examinations (e.g. blood tests, urine tests and ultrasound examinations), preparation for the birth, the delivery itself and postnatal care. If you are pregnant, the doctor treating you will give you a maternity record (Mutterpass) to record individual appointment dates and times for examinations. Deliveries are assisted by male and female midwives and also by doctors. Midwives are also important contacts before and after the birth.
Children and young people
After the birth of their child, parents will generally be given an examination record describing in detail when specific examinations are due.
Important: Please keep this examination record in a safe place and bring it with you every time your child visits a doctor!
There is provision for several examinations for children up to six years of age. The first examination is carried out immediately after birth. Metabolism and functioning of the sensory organs (e.g. hearing and sight), breathing, digestion and musculature are checked. Attention is given to any developmental or behavioural abnormalities.
An additional examination is recommended for adolescents between 12 and 14 years of age. The purpose of this is to detect any problems with the young person’s physical or mental development. The doctor will measure height, weight and blood pressure, among other things.
These examinations are important to promote the healthy development of your child. Therefore please make sure you attend all examination appointments!
- Federal point of contact for refugees with disabilites and/or care needs
Hotline: +49 30 854 04 789 (Mo - Fr from 9am - 5pm)
This service is currently only offered in German.
Contact via Hotline or E-Mail:
- As an evacuating organization to announce a larger group of refugees with disabilities and/or care needs in Germany
- As "Drehkreuz" with queries about the arrival of our target group
- As federal coordination entities ("Landeskoordinierungsstelle") with inquiries about accommodation requests and notifications of needs by the "Bundeskontaktstelle" as well as information on free accommodation capacities