In addition to general practitioners (Hausärzte), there are specialists. You can find a list of doctors, classified according to their field of specialization in the commercial directory Yellow Pages.
If you have to consult a doctor it's best to ask acquaintances for advice.In general, it is advisable to go to a general practitioner first so that after a general examination, you can be referred to a specialist. Doctors prefer you to make an appointment. In acute cases or emergencies the doctor will see you immediately or make an appointment for the same day.
If you have a German health insurance, you will get a plastic ID card which you need when visiting a doctor. This card contains your personal data.
With public health insurance, the costs for your medical care will be settled with your insurance company directly. However, you will have to pay a consultation fee of € 10 per quarter, which you have to pay cash on your first visit in the respective quarter. The next visits to the same doctor within the same quarter will be free of charge. If you need to see another doctor (e.g. specialist) within the same quarter, you have to ask for a referral. Without this paper you have to pay another € 10.
The € 10 consultation fee does not include visits to the dentist. If you have to see a dentist, you have to pay another € 10 fee, as a referral to the dentist is not possible.
If you have a private insurance, you will receive a bill which you have to hand in to the insurance company. The amount will be reimbursed to your account by the insurance company. No quarterly consultation fee is charged.
Please check the conditions of your health insurance. There might be special conditions for the refund of the treatment expenses (e.g. dental treatment, medical check-up, etc.). Some health insurances are set up as co-insurances, which means that part of the treatment expenses has to be paid by yourself.
You may also ask at your embassy for information on doctors speaking your native language.
No medicine will be sold outside a pharmacy (Apotheke). Drug stores (Drogerien) or health food stores (Reformhäuser) carry some vitamin products, homeopathic medication and herbal teas. In Germany a lot more medications require a prescription, compared to other countries. Prices are comparatively high. Depending on your insurance (public or private), you will pay just a small fee or the full price.
For information on pharmacies that are open during the night in different neighbourhoods, phone (030 / 31 000 31. At the main train station (Hauptbahnhof) you can find a branch that is open 24h/7d a week.