1 Information 10 Parkway London NW1 7AA Tel Fax Website COUNTRY GUIDE Germany March 2006/Updated October 2008 Page 1 of 7 People with diabetes can still bring insulin and non insulin injections with them onto aircraft despite new security restrictions introduced in recent years. Do please bear in mind that the situation has been subject to change, so we would recommend that you contact your airline directly or the Department for Transport on (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5.30pm) for the latest information. Alternatively you can visit their website at A letter from your doctor explaining your need to carry syringes/injection devices and insulin should be presented to the airline staff. Some GPs will charge for writing a letter, so if you travel frequently it would be a good idea to ask your doctor to phrase the letter in such a way that it can be used more than once. Liquid items are only permitted in hand luggage if they are in containers of less than 100ml. There are a few exceptions; essential medicines for the period of the trip may be permitted in larger quantities above the current 100ml limit, but will be subject to authentication. Passengers are also permitted to carry essential medical equipment through airport security, though all medication and equipment must be supported by documentation from a relevant qualified medical professional. Insulin and non insulin injections should be carried as hand luggage and not be put into the plane s hold as low temperatures can damage it. Some airlines may request that once on board medication be handed over for storage during the flight. Those travelling may wish to contact their airline in advance for the most up-to-date information on this issue. The charity for people with diabetes Diabetes UK is the operating name of the British Diabetic Association Company limited by guarantee Registered office: 10 Parkway, London NW1 7AA Registered in England no Registered charity no
2 Germany COUNTRY GUIDE Page 2 of 7 Q. Will I need any vaccinations to travel to Germany? A. You will need to discuss this with your GP. The Department of Health gives information on the recommended vaccinations for different countries, together with general advice on health risks, prevention and treatment. They also produce a leaflet, Access to healthcare abroad, which is available directly from the Department of Health or in your local Post Office. (More information can be found at or by calling ). Ask your doctor or diabetes nurse for advice on how to manage your diabetes should you have a reaction to a vaccine. Q. Do I have to carry identification when taking my insulin and syringes or tablets through customs? A. It is advisable to carry a letter from your doctor stating that you have diabetes. Q. What health services will be available to me as a UK citizen in Germany? A. Germany has a reciprocal healthcare agreement with the UK and to take advantage of this you will need a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This has replaced the old E111 form and can be applied for online (visit by calling or by picking up a form from the Post Office. You need your National Insurance or NHS number to apply. Local health insurance funds in Germany (Allgemeine Ortskrankenkasse or AOK) will be able to give you a list of doctors who are contracted to work under the German state health insurance scheme. These doctors will request a fixed charge from you which is non-refundable. Medicines prescribed by German doctors can be obtained from any pharmacy and you will be liable for a percentage of the prescription charge. You should keep all original receipts. In an emergency you can go directly to any state hospital. The hospital will then contact the local insurance fund so that they can confirm that your treatment costs will be met. For further information about what the EHIC entitles you to in Germany see the Department of Health publication, Access to Healthcare Abroad (see above). You will also need a travel insurance package that does not rule out pre-existing health conditions such as diabetes. This should cover illness (including a stay in hospital), emergency travel home and any extra expenses caused by a prolonged stay. If you are in any doubt about your policy ask your insurer to confirm in writing that pre-existing conditions are not excluded. Q. Will I be able to obtain my medication whilst abroad in case of an emergency? A. If you treat your diabetes with insulin then you should contact your insulin manufacturer before the trip to see if your insulin is supplied in Germany. It is also worth checking that it is sold under the same name. Contact details are given below for the insulin manufacturers in the UK. Eli Lilly and Company Limited Novo Nordisk Ltd
3 Germany COUNTRY GUIDE Page 3 of 7 Lilly House Broadfield Park Priestly Road Brighton Road Basingstoke RG24 9NL Crawley RH11 9RT Telephone: Telephone: Sanofi-Aventis Wockhardt UK Ltd 1 Onslow Street (formerly CP Pharmaceuticals) Guildford GU1 4YS Ash Road North Telephone: Wrexham Industrial Estate Wrexham LL13 9UF Telephone: If you treat your diabetes with tablets then you should contact the manufacturers of your tablets to see whether or not they are available in Germany and under what name. You will find their contact details in the patient information leaflet that comes with your tablets. Q. How will the different time zone affect my medication/control? A. The time zone in Germany is GMT + 2hours. Journeys across time zones may mean that you need to adjust your insulin. All international flights eastwards or westwards involve crossing time zones and days will be shortened or lengthened. There is no need to be alarmed about this. Many people cross time zones regularly without any serious problems. Remember that 'running a bit high' for up to 24 hours is most unlikely to cause you any harm. When travelling east to west, the day is lengthened and some clinics will advise you to take an extra meal and to cover it with extra insulin. When travelling west to east, the day is shortened and the amount of insulin and carbohydrate may need to be reduced. In general, if your time zone change is less than four hours, you will not need to make major changes to your injections. If your diabetes is treated with tablets, very occasionally it may be necessary to take an extra dose to cover a longer day or you may need to leave out one dose of tablets on a short day. However you treat your diabetes, it is important to address any adjustments you need to make to your treatment beforehand with your diabetes care team. When discussing this, make sure that you have your flight details to hand, including your departure time, the length of the flight, and the local time of arrival. Q. Which syringes are used in Germany? A. U100 & U40 Q. Will I be able to obtain blood and urine-testing equipment?
4 Germany COUNTRY GUIDE Page 4 of 7 A. Yes. However, for blood glucose testing it is worth checking with the manufacturing company of your meter in the UK whether or not the particular test strips you require are available. Q. How is blood glucose measured in Germany? A. Blood glucose levels are measured in mg/dl in Germany. You may find the following conversion table helpful if you need to seek medical help. mmol/l mg/dl mmol/l mg/dl mmol/l mg/dl Q. What language is spoken in Germany? A. German Q. What is the emergency services telephone number? A. Ambulance and fire: 112 Police: 110 Q. Will I need an International Driving Licence when driving in Germany? A. No. A UK driving licence will be sufficient. Q. If I want to hire a vehicle during my visit, will I face any form of discrimination? A. No Q. What are the staple starchy foods I can expect in Germany? A. Potatoes, bread, rice, pasta Q. What sugar-free drinks are available? A. Diet coke, lemonada etc & bottled mineral water Q. Does Germany have a diabetes association that I might be able to contact during my visit? A. Yes. Contact details are:
5 Germany COUNTRY GUIDE Page 5 of 7 Deutsche Diabetes-Union e. V. DDU German Diabetes Union Staffelseestr München Germany Tel Fax Website Other useful contacts British Embassy Telephone: (from the UK); Wilhelmstrasse (from within Germany) Berlin Website: Translations - German 1. Is there anyone who can speak English? Spricht hier jemand Englisch? 2. I have / he has / she has diabetes. Ich / er / sie habe / hat diabetes. 3. I / he / she need(s) to see a doctor urgently. Ich benötige dringend einen Arzt. 4. Please give me the address of the nearest doctor / hospital. Bitte geben Sie mir die Adresse der nächstgelegenen Arztpraxis oder eines Hospitals. 5. This person is having a hypo / hypoglycaemic episode. Diese Person Hat eine Hypoglykämie. 6. This person is on insulin treatment. He / she has... injections a day of... insulin. The dosage is... units. Wird mit Insulin behandelt. Er / sie erhält tägliche Injektionen von... Insulin. Die Dosis beträgt... Einheiten. 7. This person is on tablet treatment. He / she takes... Er / sie steht unter Tablettenbehandlung. Er / sie nimmt...
6 Germany COUNTRY GUIDE Page 6 of 7 8. I have lost / broken my insulin / tablets / needles / pens / syringes / blood glucose monitor/ lancets / blood glucose testing strips / Identification disc. Ich habe verloren / zerbrochen mein (e) Insulin / Tabletten / Nadeln / Pens / Spritzen / Blutzuckermeßgerät / Lanzetten / Blutzuckerteststrefen / Identifikationskarte. 9. Please give me a prescription for insulin / needles / syringes / tablets / blood glucose testing strips / lancets. Bitte geben Sie mir ein Rezept für Insulin / Nadeln / Spritzen / Tabletten / Blutzuckerteststreifen / Lanzetten. 10. Where is the nearest pharmacy? Wo ist die nächste Apotheke? 11. Have you any sugar free drinks? Haben Sie zuckerfreie Getränke? 12. Do you have any intense sweeteners? Haben Sie Süßstoffe? 13. Would it be possible to keep this ice pack in your freezer for keeping my medicines cool? Ist es möglich, dieses Päckchen in Ihrem Eisschrank aufzubewahren, um meine Medizin kalt zu halten? 14. This is a blood glucose meter, which I need for monitoring my diabetes. Dies ist ein Blutzuckermeßgerät, das ich für die Kontrolle meines Diabetes benötige Diabetes UK If you would like further information on any aspect of diabetes, please contact: Diabetes UK Careline Macleod House, 10 Parkway, London NW1 7AA Telephone (operates a translation service) Publications The Diabetes UK Catalogue describes our full range of books and leaflets, including Travel and diabetes (code: 8025). For a copy of Travel and diabetes or the catalogue please contact: Diabetes UK Distribution PO Box 1057, Bedford MK42 7XQ Telephone
7 Germany COUNTRY GUIDE Page 7 of 7 Insulin user s identity cards Diabetes UK insulin user s identity cards, which may help the cardholder verify his/her need to carry syringes and medication, are available from Diabetes UK Customer Services (telephone: ). Please note these cards do not hold any statutory status at present, and police or customs are not required by law to recognise the card and the information printed on it. Diabetes UK /0306/e
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