Help and advice

Do you still have questions about specific health topics but are unsure who to contact?

Check out our non-exhaustive list of advice and information services. These are often also able to provide details of further useful services and contacts. There may also be other qualified advisory services in relation to the specific topic area.

Important: Please note that the links and telephone numbers relate to external bodies and not advisory services provided by

On what topics are you looking for advice, information or help?

If a situation is life-threatening or there is a risk of permanent injury, the emergency number provides access to rapid assistance.

Telephone: 112
App: nora Notruf (nora emergency assistance)

People with urgent medical problems outside standard medical practice consulting hours can obtain non-emergency medical assistance by calling 116 117. This service from the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Providers (Kassenärztliche Bundesvereinigung) is intended for patients who do not have a life-threatening condition but cannot wait until a practice opens.

Telephone: 116 117

Help and crisis lines can be the first point of contact for people with mental health problems.

An overview of telephone advice services can be found in the article Numbers to call in the event of an emergency.

The poison control centers are run by the federal states and provide emergency advice by telephone in the event of human poisoning. In life-threatening situations, always call the general emergency number 112.

Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL)

The telephone and fax numbers of the responsible poison control centers can be found on the BVL website.


Health insurance ensures that people are covered in the event of illness. It is mandatory for everyone resident in Germany. Health insurance is divided into two different systems: statutory health insurance (GKW) and private health insurance (PKV).

Statutory health insurance

Healthcare for people with statutory health insurance is based on the Fifth Book of the German Social Security Code (SGB V) on statutory health insurance. Health insurance providers are obliged to inform their members about their rights, obligations and entitlements in relation to health insurance.

The National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds (GKV-Spitzenverband) provides an overview of all the statutory health insurance providers in Germany.

Private health insurance

Private health insurance providers are insurance companies that conclude individual insurance agreements with their customers. They are obliged to provide comprehensive information about tariffs and contractual services. 

The German Association of Private Health Insurers (Verband der Privaten Krankenversicherung e.V. – PKV) provides contact details for private health insurance providers.

Federal Ministry of Health (BMG)

The BMG’s public hotline provides general information about the German healthcare system and on matters relating to health insurance.

Telephone: +49 (0)30 340 60 66 01

Consumer advice centers (Verbraucherzentralen e.V.)

The consumer advice centers provide information, offer individual advice on questions relating to health insurance and assist people with legal problems. Advice may be subject to a fee.


Good health has a positive effect on other areas of life, such as work, leisure, friends and family, as well as people’s own quality of life. Various institutions offer advice on how people can improve their health and which measures are useful for prevention or rehabilitation.

Federal Center for Health Education (Bundeszentrale für gesundheitliche Aufklärung – BZgA)

The BZgA provides information about many key health topics, medical issues and preventive measures. Examples of topics include children’s, women’s and men’s health, addiction prevention, infection control, diet and exercise.


Federal Ministry of Health (BMG)

The BMG’s public hotline on preventive healthcare provides general information about prevention as well as about health and long-term care insurance.

Telephone: +49 (0)30 340 60 66 03

German Pension Insurance Organization (Deutsche Rentenversicherung – DRV)

The DRV provides statutory health insurance holders with advice on questions relating to medical or professional rehabilitation (rehab). It also helps with applications, questions about insurance and services, and the search for a suitable clinic.

Telephone: +49 (0)800 1000 4800

Several forms of psychotherapy are available for people with mental health problems.

Federal Chamber of Psychotherapists (Bundespsychotherapeutenkammer – BPtK)

The BPtK provides a broad range of information, for example about different forms of therapy, what happens during sessions, when psychotherapy is useful and the conditions under which health insurance providers will cover the costs.


The BPtK also offers the same content for children and adolescents with mental health problems.


Vaccinations provide effective protection against infectious diseases. They help to contain or completely prevent infection and thus the spread of many contagious diseases.

Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA)

The BZgA provides background information on the topic of vaccinations plus general information on the vaccination recommendations of the Standing Committee on Vaccination (Ständige Impfkommission – STIKO).


Organ and tissue donations can give back some quality of life to people with certain conditions or even save lives. Whether people want to donate is a personal decision and donations are only possible if a donor has provided express consent. If people’s wishes are unknown, relatives can decide on their behalf following their death.

Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA)

The BZgA provides independent, expectation-free information about organ and tissue donation both online and via the organ donation hotline.

Telephone: +49 (0)800 90 40 400

For couples, family planning and pregnancy are times that are associated with many questions about pregnancy and childbirth, parenting and the child and mother’s health.

Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA)

The BZgA provides two information portals about family planning, pregnancy and childbirth as well as children’s health.

“Family planning” website:

“Children’s health info” website:

pro familia German Society for Family Planning, Sexual Education and Sexual Counseling

pro familia offers information, personal advice and social education support to adults and adolescents on the topics of sexuality, relationships and family planning. This includes information about contraception, pregnancy, childbirth, infertility, abortion, sexuality and partnerships.


National Center for Early Help (Nationales Zentrum Frühe Hilfen – NZFH)

The term “early help” relates to services for parents during pregnancy and with children under the age of three. It offers practical assistance, advice, mediation and support. The NZFH provides tips for everyday life and problems with babies and small children. It also offers information about nearby early help services, crying clinics (“Schreiambulanzen”) and parental counseling services.


National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds (GKV-Spitzenverband)

Midwives offer support to expectant parents during pregnancy, childbirth and the first few days and weeks of the baby’s life. The GKV midwife search provides a list of midwives whose costs are covered by health insurance providers.


Regional information centers

Municipal coordination centers or midwife centers in many cities and municipalities help people find a suitable midwife in their local area.

Children and adults with developmental disorders as well as mental, physical or multiple disabilities often require specialized medical care from multi-professional and interdisciplinary teams of doctors and therapists.

National Association of Medical Centers for Adults with Disabilities (Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft Medizinische Zentren für Erwachsene mit Behinderung e.V. – BAG MZEB)

The BAG MZEB website offers important information for people with disabilities and their relatives as well as a search function for finding local treatment centers.


German Society for Social Paediatrics and Youth Medicine (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Sozialpädiatrie und Jugendmedizin e.V. – DGSPJ)

The DGSPJ provides a search function for finding treatment centers for children and adolescents.


Federal Ministry of Health (BMG)

The BMG sign language phone line provides information about health and long-term care insurance as well as health prevention to people with hearing disabilities.

Video phone: 
Fax: +49 (0)30 340 60 66 07

Cancer Information Service (KID)

The Cancer Information Service of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) provides individual advice on the topics of cancer, cancer prevention and cancer screening/early detection. The advice is free of charge.

Telephone: +49 (0)800 420 30 40


The national information portal from the German Center for Diabetes Research (Deutsches Zentrum für Diabetesforschung), the Helmholtz Zentrum München and the German Diabetes Center (Deutsches Diabetes-Zentrum) provides reliable, independent information about diabetes.


Dementia guidance portal (Wegweiser Demenz)

The dementia guidance portal offers people with dementia, relatives and carers general information about dementia, such as medical aspects and legal entitlements as well as a database of help services. The portal is provided by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ).


Allergy information service

The allergy information service from the Helmholtz Zentrum München provides up-to-date, scientifically validated information from all areas of allergy research.


In the European Union, a health condition is classed as rare if it affects no more than 5 in 10,000 people. Despite this, with over 6,000 different rare conditions, the total number of patients is still high.

National Action League for People with Rare Diseases (“Nationales Aktionsbündnis für Menschen mit Seltenen Erkrankungen” – NAMSE)

The action league NAMSE networks existing initiatives, researchers and doctors. People with rare conditions can find further contacts here.


Individual health services (IGeL) are medical services during a doctor’s visit that patients usually have to pay for themselves.

Federal Medical Review Board (Medizinischer Dienst Bund – KöR)

The online portal “IGeL Monitor” from the Medical Review Board provides information about which individual health services exist and assesses the benefits and risks of such services.


Insured persons who apply for or already receive long-term care insurance benefits are entitled to individual and qualified advice on long-term care (Section 7a of the Eleventh Book of the German Social Code, SGB XI). This is free of charge for them. Family caregivers and voluntary carers can obtain advice on care if the person in need of care agrees to this.

Examples of advice topics can include the determination of the individual need for assistance and how this can be organized and financed with the help of benefits from long-term care insurance and other social insurances, as well as preparation for the care assessment, tips for care at home and respite options for relatives.

Long-term care insurance

A person’s own long-term care insurance fund or private long-term care insurance company is usually the first point of contact for advice about long-term care. These are legally obliged to provide advice. The long-term care insurance fund will either provide the advice itself or issue a voucher for advice from a qualified care advice center.

Compass Private Pflegeberatung GmbH offers advice to people with private long-term care insurance on behalf of their private insurance company. It is an independent subsidiary of the German Association of Private Health Insurers.

Statutory long-term care insurance funds
The National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds (GKV-Spitzenverband) provides an overview of all the statutory long-term care insurance funds in Germany.

Compass Private Pflegeberatung GmbH
Telephone: +49 (0)800 101 88 00

Regional care advice centers

Qualified care advice can also be obtained from care support points and advice centers from municipalities, welfare associations and charities. It is advisable to find out about the quality of the advice in advance.

Local advice centers can be found using the database of the  Center for Quality in Care (Zentrum für Qualität in der Pflege, ZQP).

Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ)

The BMFSFJ’s care hotline provides individual advice to family caregivers about how to organize and finance care at home, support and assistance options as well as local services. The advice is anonymous, confidential and free.

Telephone: +49 (0)30 20 17 91 31

Federal Ministry of Health (BMG)

The BMG’s public hotline on long-term care insurance offers general information about all matters relating to statutory long-term care insurance.

Telephone: +49 (0)30 340 60 66 02

Many factors play a role when selecting a suitable care facility, often including the results of the external quality assessment, which is mandatory for all care institutions. These results can be found in the databases offered by various portals, where users can search for facilities on the basis of individual criteria.

Society for the Promotion of Quality of Life in Old Age and with Disability (Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Lebensqualität im Alter und bei Behinderung): Home Directory (Heimverzeichnis):

Federal Association of the AOK (AOK-Bundesverband): Care Navigator (Pflegenavigator)

Federal Association of Company Health Insurance Funds (BKK-Dachverband): Care Finder (PflegeFinder)

Association of Substitute Health Insurance Funds (Verband der Ersatzkassen – VDEK): Care Guide (Pflegelotse)

In the field of health, self-help can make it easier for people to deal with disabilities, chronic conditions and addictions as well as to improve their quality of life.

National Contact and Information Point for Encouraging and Supporting Self-Help Groups (NAKOS)

NAKOS helps people find a suitable self-help group and create new groups. To this end, it offers several databases with regional self-help contact points and self-help groups as well as further information about self-help.

Telephone: +49 (0)30 31 01 89 60

Many clubs, associations and people voluntarily support people with health or age-related impairments. This includes helping with shopping, accompanying people on walks, visiting elderly people and providing support in care facilities, for example.

Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI)

The BMI website provides useful information and links that help people search for suitable activities.


Regional services

Information about volunteer services can also be obtained from welfare associations, charities, city and local authority administrations and volunteer agencies.

The doctor search can be used to find local doctors and filter by specialization, language and the accessibility of the medical practice.


National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Providers (Kassenärztliche Bundesvereinigung – KBV)

The KBV’s appointment service helps people find a doctor’s appointment in the near future.

Telephone: 116 117

The doctor search can be used to find local psychotherapists and filter by language and the accessibility of the practice.


National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Providers (KBV)

The KBV’s appointment service helps people find a therapist appointment in the near future.

Telephone: 116 117

The hospital search can be used to search for nearby hospitals and filter, for example, by specific professional specialization.


Physiotherapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, podology, nutrition therapy and the like are classed as therapeutic services.

List of therapeutic service providers

The list of therapeutic service providers (Heilmittelerbringerliste) is a search function from the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds (GKV-Spitzenverband) that can be used to find local practices for physiotherapy and podology as well as occupational, nutrition, voice, speech, language and swallowing therapy.

List of therapeutic service providers:

Medication can be obtained from pharmacies. The staff provide information and advice on aspects such as how to take and store medication as well as possible side effects or interactions. Non-stocked medication can usually be ordered for same-day collection.

Federal Union of German Associations of Pharmacists (Bundesvereinigung Deutscher Apothekerverbände – ABDA).

The ABDA pharmacy portal can be used to find both local and emergency pharmacies.

Pharmacy search:

Emergency pharmacy search:

Medication can be ordered from pharmacies and pharmaceutical distributors online. These have to be approved and registered in Germany. Legitimate providers can be identified by the mandatory EU safety logo. The authenticity of the website can be checked by clicking the logo.

Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM)

The BfArM mail-order commerce register lists online pharmacies and distributors authorized to sell medication for human use.