If you need a doctor, you can ask at the institute about the nearest prac- tice. You can also find doctors locally, grouped according to their respec- tive specialty fields, in the telephone directory, in “Yellow Pages” or on the Internet (www.gelbeseiten.de). The usual procedure is to first con- sult a family doctor who may be a general practitioner or internist, who will then, if necessary, refer you to a specialist.
It is advisable to contact the practice in advance by telephone and ask for an appointment. Allow for the fact that an appointment can only be made for a few days ahead. If it is urgent, you must make a special point of mentioning this. In acute cases, practices cannot refuse you – either on the telephone or in person. Medical practices are closed on Wednes- day and Friday afternoons, but once a week offer early evening appoint- ments for working people. When you visit a doctor, please take your in- surance card with you.
Those with private insurance receive a bill after their visit which, de- pending on their health insurance, they initially pay themselves and then claim the amount from their insurance or send the bill directly to their health insurer who will then pay it.