The medical profession in Rhine Ruhr is quite fragmented. As opposed to some countries where help can often be found in larger medical centres and specialists in hospitals, German doctors are mostly in their own practice or a small partnership.
General practitioners (Allgemeinarzt) are normally approached first for treatment who then refer patients to a relevant specialist if deemed necessary. These doctors focus on such areas as internal medicine (Internist), on children (Kinderarzt), ear nose and throat (Hals- Nasen- und Ohrenarzt), ophthalmology (Augenarzt), gynaecology (Frauenarzt) and so on.
Having an ailment treated can therefore become quite a task and bureaucratic realities with forever changing regulations try both patients’ and doctors’ patience. Insurance companies can suggest names in a particular location but not give recommendations. A local doctor in Rhine Ruhr can be searched on Kassenärztliche Vereinigung Nordrhein by those in the west and south or Kassenärztliche Vereinigung Westfalen-Lippe in the east of the region.
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