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Health care: Nationwide new telephone number for medical on-call service under the telephone number 116 117.
(07/14/2010) From the coming year 2011 there will be a uniform telephone number for the emergency medical service nationwide. The new number 116 117 is expected to be activated from January 2011. According to the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians in Brandenburg, the new telephone number for the medical on-call service is to apply throughout Germany to both mobile phones and landlines. It also includes all landline and mobile providers.
From January 2011 the "Tel. 116 117" applies nationwide to the medical emergency service. In the future, ambiguities should be avoided as to which phone number is now valid in which city or municipality. So far, for example, there were 72 different call numbers for the state of Brandenburg alone, under which patients could reach the emergency medical service. Thanks to the uniform number, patients all over Germany know where they are, which number they have to dial.
You call the medical on-call service when you are in a non-life-threatening health situation, i.e. you do not need an emergency doctor or ambulance. This includes, for example, symptoms such as fever, chills or severe colds. The number is switched in the evening, at night and on weekends, i.e. when no regular general practitioners are open. Nationwide, the medical on-call service was called about eight million times last year. Speed dial 112 continues to apply in life-threatening situations.
The Brandenburg Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians pioneered the idea of a nationwide uniform number. The idea of a uniform number was already submitted to the European Union (EU) in 2007. The EU is responsible for granting speed dial numbers. The EU reserved the number "116 117" after an examination last year. The implementation is now being carried out under the direction of the statutory health insurance associations. In the future, there should also be a uniform number across Europe. However, it is not yet known when this should happen. From January the emergency medical service is available at 116117. Until then, the previous extension numbers still apply. (sb)
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