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Frankfurt neighbourhoods for a family, and doctors and orthodontists

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Hi everyone!  I've posted here in the last few months.  Now I've actually arrived in Frankfurt, and would appreciate your replies very much, on a few topics of concern for us.   We are looking for a safe neighbourhood in the Frankfurt/Mainz/Wiesbaden/Darmstadt area with schools that have support for kids with not enough German; preferably fairly affluent neighbourhoods. We cannot afford International schools but are considering the bilingual schools. We are Canadian, and my husband will work at the Frankfurt airport. This is a long term move. Also, we are seeking a children's doctor that will take drop in patients. We won't find a permanent apartment until at least September first or possibly October first), so I'm not sure what to do if we'll need a doctor before then. I've heard it's not easy. And I have the same concern about an orthodontist; can anyone recommend one that would see us in an emergency? Sometimes my daughter has minor emergencies with her appliance, and I'd love to know someone to call in that instance. I would appreciate any advice on any of the above! Thank you very much! :)

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This was discussed in another post recently.  Darmstadt is certainly affluent, and getting more affluent by the month if not week, and has schools that specialise in German as a foreign  language (notably the Europaschule) and tops family friendly city listings here, but of course the counterpoint is that it in great demand, as are most places fitting your requirements now.   Two of those three appear in Germany's top 10 most expensive cities list (one near the top) and the other two would probably be about 11 and 12.  About 40% of the DA populace is foreign background so it's obviously going to be open to the world (one of it's frequently repeated straplines).   The city locale is quite small but the definition would include middle-class family Griesheim, by which I mean the town to the east, not the district of Frankfurt.   

 

I am not sure what the "bilingual schools" you mean are but I don't know the other places so well.   There are not that many native English speakers here in this city, our numbers dropped as the US military left and the tech boom and gentrification really hit.   There are some much cheaper private school alternatives to the international schools round here but not "bilingual" and they tend set up for a reason (usually religious).   It would be the norm here that kids of all background go into a German education setting, albeit with that significant support as second language users of it.   It is a very strong academic / education city (some of the best school outcomes in Germany) and, in that sort of setting, taking up the process of another language if that's your life choice (as it is of many here) is seen as completely normal.  Migrant / foreign background kids can learn too.  End. 

 

Dentists are not a problem here (at least from my German speaking perspective) but the others might be more so.  However, that may be the same in many places now.   If you can find a place teeming with freely available health professionals, many people would be interested.   They do make an effort to fit in kids, I think.    I don't think anyone gets their whole wishlist anywhere, though.

 

In general, you should look for as much recruitment assistance for housing and ongoing support (e.g. finding those medical professionals and schools) as possible.  Not least as many others here are doing it.

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With regard to doctors I don't know how it works in Canada but in Germany you don't need to register with a GP and always go through them. Many people have a "Hausartzt", which is a GP that you send everything that health related to, such as, if you are taken to hospital, you'll get asked "who's your 'Hausartzt'?" in case you want to have your records sent to them, but this is not a requirement and not everyone has one.

 

In Germany you just go to any doctor you want to. Getting an appoint for some very popular doctors or for certain specialties can be difficult (or even impossible for doctors who don't take new patients), but you can delegate the search to your health insurer, if you find it difficult to get an appointment yourself.

 

You rarely need a referral to go and see a specialist ("Überweisung"). If there's something wrong with your ear you go straight to the ENT, if you have back pain you go straight to the orthopedist, etc. You don't need to go through a GP in most cases. You can clarify with your health insurer when you need to get a referral beforehand. It'll be situations that are mostly self-evident, like radiology, epidemiology, cardiology... You just don't go to a radiologist and say "take an x-ray of my leg", you first go to an orthopedist or even a GP and they decide if an x-ray is to be taken.

 

If you have an emergency you just go straight to the doctor's office of choice. All doctors' offices handle emergencies. You will be prioritized according to the nature of the emergency. Depending on the nature and severity of the emergency, or whether doctor's offices are open or not, you can choose to go to a doctor's office or the ER ("ärtzlicher Notdienst").

 

I am not sure what you've heard about it being difficult to find a doctor before finding a permanent apartment. Do you mean before you are German residents with German health insurance? If you haven't got your German health insurance yet and you need a doctor, just make an appointment with a doctor of your choice and tell them that you are a "selbstzähler" (self-payer). Sometimes this is problematic because the support staff at doctors offices, don't know what to do (or can't be bothered to deal) with people without insurance, but just look around--many doctors will see you without insurance without making any fuss: you'll just be asked to pay either cash or with a "EC-Karte", or "V-Pay" after the consultation or they'll send you a bill home. If you have an emergency, a doctor or ER cannot refuse to help you. If they do, they are breaking the law. Stand your ground if you have a medical emergency and they give you shit at the ER if you or your family need immediate help and they tell you they can't help you because you don't have a German insurance company card. It's not true. 

 

The area around Frankfurt Airport (Frankfurt, Wiesbaden, Darmstadt, Hanau, Mainz...) is referred to as the "Rhein-Main" area. There are NO unsafe neighborhoods anywhere in Germany. There are nicer or less nice neighborhoods, towns, streets, of course, but violent crime is very, very rare all across Germany. I don't know anything about schools and your choice of are to live in is going to be determined by ease of accessibility to the airport, your budget, and your personal preferences.  The airport is very well connected by road and by public transport. It's even very easily accessible by bike paths if you live close enough to it. You can check transport connections in the website rmv.de, but keep in mind that for the next week certain train lines are closed in Frankfurt for renovations so the results will be skewed. You have direct trains to Frankfurt and Frankfurt Airport from Frankfurt, Offenbach, Hanau, Darmstadt, Mainz, Wiesbaden and many other smaller towns. If you live in places like Raunheim, Walldorf, Mörfeldn, Kelsterbach, Langen, Neu Isenburg... and you are a bit sporty, you can commute by bike. Frankfurt Airport is surrounded by forests crisscrossed by bike and footpaths. 

 

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Yes, I do think it would be worthwhile to ask the employer regarding healthcare.   When I see employed people here who start to need to access it, they do seem to be often asking people in their organisations where to go.

 

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 There are NO unsafe neighborhoods anywhere in Germany. 

 

That's a matter of opinion.  Even Merkel and the police talk about "no go" areas in Germany now.  Frankfurt traditionally had the highest crime rate of the big cities in Germany (focussed in a few districts, and in large part because of its proximity to the airport).  Offenback has a historically poor reputation but is also the sort of place you might expect to gentrify.   Darmstadt has the lowest crime rate in south Hesse, another of its selling points.  Do not know about the rest.  You will generally hit a decent place but you really do still do not want to be totally random.

 

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 You have direct trains to Frankfurt and Frankfurt Airport from Frankfurt, Offenbach, Hanau, Darmstadt, Mainz, Wiesbaden and many other smaller towns.

 

Not quite as comprehensive as that, certainly in respect of the airport.   Not that well-connected locally by train, although plans to improve as the region grows.   You'd be commuting by airport bus (2 an hour) from Darmstadt without a car.    There are also often pretty infrequent, that "smaller town" service can be once every few hours and stopping early.

 

I think the lack of replies to these posts in 2018 tells potential migrants most of what they need to know and even some of us replying barely live here any more.   As I said, our numbers are dwindling.  

 

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I am assuming you are all registered here , with appropriate work visa as your partner has a job.?  And he and family are covered by health insurance?

You do not need a permanent nt address to register( Anmeldung).  A holiday flat, hotel address will work.

As in Canada, most find  a Family doctor/ Haus Arzt. They will refer to a specialist if needed. Your Health Insurer ( which one do you have?), may have a list of doctors.  Your husband can ask colleagues who they see, check with neighbours, Google ! Dentists-same.  As  Smaug said- if you do not have a health card yet, then you will pay as a  selbst zahler. 

Do you have travel insurance to cover until German Healthcare kicks in?

 

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Just to add a recommended orthodontist with practices east of Frankfurt  ....

 

http://www.dres-geis.de/

 

Dr Geis (UK trained) and at least one of the technicians speak very good English.  We never had problems getting an appliance fixed quickly. 

 

Good luck

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