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The Top 6 Things You Should Know About German Hospitals, Doctors and Healthcare

Whether you are foreigner living in Germany with a visa or residence permit or a medical tourist who will be visiting Germany specifically for care and treatment, the German healthcare system may not be what you are used to. But, with careful planning and informed expectations, it can be an extremely positive experience. Many patients are able to get a better quality of medical treatment than they could have in their home country, and can often save money doing so.

1) Patients can expect to receive high quality care wherever they go in Germany
There are several cultural differences between the German and other health care models that patients should be aware of before treatment. Doing thorough research and knowing what to expect before you see a doctor or enter a hospital can prevent surprises and allow for a worry-free, low-stress experience.

2) German hospitals put quality medical treatment above all else
German hospitals are focused on giving patients the best quality of medical care and not on providing them the most luxurious hospital experience. Because of this, sometimes the level of privacy and comfort is not what patients are used to. However, many hospitals offer additional options for privately insured patients who want a higher level of comfort than the standard offer at German hospitals.

3) German doctors are very honest
Germany has very strict laws when it comes to anti-corruption and honesty in the healthcare system. Patients in Germany for medical treatment can be sure they will be treated with honesty, transparency and respect. However, this also means that doctors will always tell patients the truth, even in cases of a bad prognosis. Sometimes, if a patient is traveling with their family, the family may want to keep the severity of their family member's illness a secret from them, so they don't have to worry. A German doctor, however, will not hide information from a patient about their own health. If the family is seriously worried about how the patient will react to hearing bad news about their diagnosis, this must be discussed with the doctor beforehand. In normal circumstances German doctors tell patients the truth.

4) German doctors will ask a lot of questions
In order to provide the best treatment, German doctors need a lot of information from the patient. They will ask detailed questions about the patient's medical history and diagnosis in their home country, and it is important that they receive up-to-date medical documents and reports. Additionally, if the patient's condition changes, they expect to be informed quickly, because this may affect the treatment recommendations.

5) German doctors will provide the patient with a lot of information
In Germany, doctors are legally required to explain to patients extensively about the treatment they will be receiving. The patient needs to sign a consent form before undergoing treatment, and they will have the opportunity to ask questions, which German doctors will answer in great detail. For some patients, this can feel overwhelming.

6) German hospitals are all about efficiency
Germany is famous for doing things with efficiency, and the healthcare system is no different. In Germany, the goal of the hospital is to provide patients timely and effective treatment so they return home as quickly as possible. This approach can actually save patients money, because by spending less time in the hospital they wind up paying less overall.

Article contributed by Premier Healthcare Germany. Premier Healthcare Germany GmbH is a patient management company that was founded in 2010. Its headquarters are in Hamburg, Germany. As an independent company, Premier Healthcare Germany specializes in organizing medical treatment and diagnostics in Germany. If you are planning a trip to Germany specifically for medical reasons, to make the most of your trip, consider going through a patient management organization such as Premier Healthcare. Their multicultural, multilingual staff can help you clear the administrative hurdles. They understand what is needed to get access to the hospitals and receive high quality treatment.