What is the Independent Patient Advice Service for Germany (UPD)?

The Independent Patient Advice Service for Germany (“Unabhängige Patientenberatung Deutschland” – UPD) is a non-profit organization. It advises and informs all citizens in connection with health-related and legal issues, questions and concerns. Its services are free of charge, independent, neutral and quality assured. UPD offers advice on a wide range of topics – including everything from eye care, through treatment errors, questions about sickness benefit, issues relating to care and finding the right doctor or hospital, to dental care and what to do if a health insurance provider rejects a claim for benefits. Doctors, lawyers, social insurance experts, pharmacists, specialist medical staff, psychologists and experts in other fields are employed as advisers by UPD. All UPD employees are experienced advisors, who engage in continuous personal development to ensure that their knowledge and methods reflect the latest insights from research, as well as current legislation and judiciary practices. UPD’s independence and the quality of the advice it provides are regularly reviewed by external expert evaluators.

UPD strives to help those seeking advice to better understand the frequently complex German healthcare system. It aims to enable those seeking advice to independently make decisions about their health on an informed basis. In this way, UPD seeks to significantly strengthen (digital) health literacy and patient centeredness in healthcare. The same objectives are served by UPD’s annually published “Monitor Patientenberatung” report and its regular PR and networking activities, which draw attention to problems and shortcomings in healthcare and advocate for a greater focus on patients.

Free advice from UPD is available to all, regardless of health insurance status (statutory, private or no health insurance cover). UPD can be contacted by phone (0800 011 77 22, Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.), using the online platform or contact form on www.patientenberatung.de, in person at any of the regional advisory offices currently operating in 30 German cities or by visiting one of its mobile teams, who regularly travel to 100 additional locations. See our website for more information.