Health Care System in Germany

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Germany has one of the best healthcare systems in Europe, and is consistently praised for its technologically-advanced health infrastructure. Many medical tourists from other well-developed European countries come to Germany so they can save a little money and experience German expertise.

With a ranking of 20th in the world in life expectancy and low infant mortality rate, Germany was ranked 25th in the World Health Organization’s list of world’s health systems, which was higher than the United States’ 37th place. Germany has a long history of health culture, and has Europe’s oldest universal health care system, with origins dating back to 1883.

Originally covering most lower-income citizens and government employees, the German health care system now covers most of the population. The plan covers about 92 percent of the population. Some people can opt out of the plan if they are government officials, self-employed, or have a high income. Emergency services are usually performed by private clinics, however, hospitals are non-profit and government provided.

Government hospitals all require surveillance under government supervision, and in order to accept patients, must follow strict regulatory certifications and accreditations. Some of the more famous German hospitals include Heidelberg University Hospital in Heidelberg, Charité Hospital in Berlin, and University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf in Hamburg.

The country has an outstanding amount of practicing doctors, and averages about 360 doctors per 100,000 citizens, which is ranked higher than averages for the U.S. Doctors also must go through University training that involves both in-house education and hands-on training. It takes about 5 to 7 years in order for a German doctor to start practicing.