With more than 267,000 doctors and 1,300 hospitals, Germans have one of the best health care systems in the world. The hospital system is run by the state (42%), charitable organizations (41%), and private enterprises (17%). Health insurance (Krankenkasse) covers most medical attention, including eye and dental care.

 Germany also has an excellent preventive health care system that is supported by the state as well as by private non-profit organizations. The focus is on preventing drug abuse, AIDS, cancer and heart disease and promoting exercise and general health care. 

Germans may seek a cure at a health spa, where hot springs or mineral waters ease ailments like arthritis, rheumatism, asthma, and high blood pressure. If an individual needs these treatments, they may be partly paid for by health insurance.

 Many Germans use traditional forms of health care that are not covered by health insurance. The healing practitioner, or Heilpraktiker, combines homeopathy and physical treatment. Homeopathy is a type of treatment developed by a German physician in the 19th century that is based on the principle "like cures like." Patients take minute amounts of substances that in large amounts would cause disease. This therapy is used to treat a wide variety of ailments. Other popular physical healing methods are therapeutic massage, chiropractic and physiotherapy.

German scientists have contributed many important innovations to the health sciences. Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen discovered X-rays in the 19th century. The German word for X-ray is still Röntgen. Robert Koch developed the test for tuberculosis and won a Nobel Prize in 1905. Erwin Neher and Bert Sakmann received the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1991 for their research in cellular biology.

 Did you know? 
The Romans were the first to enjoy Germany's hot springs. They built baths which people used to cure arthritis and rheumatism. These baths are still used today in towns such as Trier and Baden-Baden.