Cancellation fees for uncancelled doctor’s appointments

The health system in Germany suffers from a severe shortage of staff. Therefore, it can take a long time to get an appointment. But what if patients can’t come to that appointment? Do they then have to pay a cancellation fee? The consumer advice centre recommends that patients cancel their appointment as early as possible: “Give medical practices the opportunity to reschedule appointments and give other patients the chance to get a doctor’s appointment faster. You can also use this opportunity to make a new appointment at the same time.” For fixed appointments, such as with a specialist practice, psychotherapy or physiotherapy, it should be done in writing or by mail. This can avoid having to pay a cancellation fee. Many medical practices try to fix the obligation to pay default fees in their general terms and conditions. Depending on the practice, this can be 75 euros or more. The courts disagree on whether a patient must pay a contingency fee. There is therefore no generally applicable legal basis.


Bei der Impfung. Foto: tünews INTERNATIONAL / Mostafa Elyasian.





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