EU countries have reciprocal medical treatment arrangements with Germany. EU citizens will need the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). From the UK, this is available by phoning 0845 606 2030 or online from www.ehic.org.uk. You'll need to provide your name, date of birth and national insurance number.
It does not cover all medical costs (for example dental treatment), so private insurance is not a bad idea, too. Citizens from non-EU countries should take out private medical insurance. The British Embassy publishes a list of English-speaking doctors and dentists, as well as lawyers and interpreters.
Should you fall ill in Berlin, you can take your EHIC to any doctor or hospital emergency department and get treatment.
All hospitals have a 24-hour emergency ward. Otherwise, patients are admitted to hospital via a physician. Hospitals are listed in the Gelbe Seiten (Yellow Pages) under Krankenhäuser/Kliniken.
Accident and emergency
The following are the most central hospitals. All have 24-hour emergency wards.
Schumann Strasse 20-21, Mitte (45050/www.charite.de). U6 Oranienburger Tor.
Klinikum Am Urban
Dieffenbachstrasse 1, Kreuzberg (130 210/www.vivantes.de/kau). U7 Südstern/bus M41.
St Hedwig Krankenhaus
Grosse Hamburger Strasse 5, Mitte (23110). S5, S7, S75 Hackescher Markt or S1, S2 Oranienburger Strasse.
There is a long tradition of alternative medicine (Heilpraxis) in Germany, and your medical insurance will usually cover treatment costs. For a full list of practitioners, look up Heilpraktiker in the Gelbe Seiten (Yellow Pages). There you'll find a complete list of chiropractors, osteopaths, acupuncturists, homoeopaths and healers of various kinds. However, note that homeopathic medicines are harder to get hold of and much more expensive than in the UK, and it's generally more difficult to find an osteopath or a chiropractor.
Contraception, abortion and childbirth
Family-planning clinics are thin on the ground in Germany, and generally you have to go to a gynaecologist (Frauenarzt). The abortion law was amended in 1995 to take into account the differing systems that had existed in East and West. East Germany had abortion on demand; in the West, abortion was only allowed in extenuating circumstances, such as when the health of the foetus or mother was at risk.
In a complicated compromise, abortion is still technically illegal, but is not punishable. Women wishing to terminate a pregnancy can do so only after receiving certification from a counsellor. Counselling is offered by state, lay and church bodies.
Feministisches Frauen Gesundheits Zentrum (FFGZ)
Bamberger Strasse 51, Schöneberg (213 9597/www.ffgz.de). U4, U7 Bayerischer Platz. Open 10am-noon Mon, Tue, Fri; 10am-noon, 4-6pm Thur.
Courses and lectures are offered on natural contraception, pregnancy, cancer, abortion, AIDS, migraines and sexuality. Self-help and preventative medicine are stressed. Information on gynaecologists, health institutions and organisations can also be obtained.
Kalkreuthstrasse 4, Schöneberg (3984 9898/www.profamilia-berlin.de). U1, U2, U3 Wittenbergplatz. Open 3-6pm Mon, Tue, Thur; 9am-noon Sat.
Free advice about sex, contraception and abortion is offered here. Call for an appointment.
Dr Andreas Bothe
Kurfürstendamm 193D, Charlottenburg (882 6767). U1 Uhlandstrasse. Open 8am-2pm Mon, Wed, Fri; 2-8pm Tue, Thur.
If you don't know of any doctors in Berlin, or are too ill to leave your bed, phone the Emergency Doctor's Service (Ärztlicher Bereitschaftdienst 310 031). This service specialises in dispatching doctors for house calls. The charges vary according to the treatment required by the patient.
The British Embassy can provide a list of English-speaking doctors, although you'll find that most doctors speak some English. All will be expensive, however, so be sure to have either your EHIC or your private insurance documents at hand if seeking treatment.
The doctors listed below speak excellent English.
Dr Joseph Francis Aman
Franzisksus Krankenhaus, Budapester Strasse 15-19, Tiergarten (2638 3503). U2, U9, S5, S7, S75 Zoologischer Garten. Open 8am-6pm, Mon, Tue, Thur; 8am-1pm Fri.
Dr Aman is an American GP with a practice in the Roman Catholic hospital opposite the Intercontinental Hotel.
Dr Christine Rommelspacher
Oldenburger Strasse 37, Tiergarten (391 1701) U9 Turmstrasse. Open 9am-noon, 4-7pm Mon, Thur; 9am-noon Tue, Wed.
HIV & Aids
Berliner Aids-Hilfe (BAH)
Kurfürstenstrasse 130, Tiergarten (885 6400, advice line 19411, www.berliner-aidshilfe.de). U1, U2, U3, U4 Nollendorfplatz. Open noon-6pm Mon; noon-2.30pm Wed; noon-3pm Thur, Fri. Advice line noon-10pm Mon-Wed.
Information on all aspects of HIV and AIDS. Free consultations, condoms and lubricant are also provided.
Prescription and non-prescription drugs (including aspirin) are sold only at pharmacies (Apotheken). You can recognise these by a red 'A' outside the front door. A list of the nearest pharmacies open on Sundays and in the evening should be displayed in the window of every pharmacy. You can get a list of Notdienst-Apotheken (emergency pharmacies) online at www.akberlin.de/notdienst.