Waiting lists for treatments are rare. Medical facilities are equipped with the latest technology and the statutory health insurance scheme provides nearly full cover for most medical treatments and medicines. Almost everybody in Germany has access to this system, irrespective of income or social status.
The downside is that medical costs are high. Health care costs - for doctors, hospital stays and even medicines - are among the most expensive in the world. There is no such thing as "free" treatment in Germany, not even in state hospitals. All care, including emergencies, has to be paid for by you or your health insurance!
When coming to Germany, it is therefore extremely important to have a full health care insurance, as a serious illness could cause a financial disaster. In most cases, you will even be obliged to prove you have adequate cover. See our section on health insurance for details, or, for more up-to-date news, check out our expat health blog at ExpatHealth.org.