In Britain, we all complain about the National Health Service (NHS), but having myself lived in several countries that do not have one, I think it is pretty darn good.
Of course, Germany is also highly regarded for its health care, but I must admit I do find it considerably more complicated to navigate than the British system. For example, when you start working in Germany, you must actually choose a provider as the government effectively contracts it out. And if you earn above a certain salary, you can opt to go private and your and your employer’s contributions get fed into that. Things get even more complicated if you are unemployed, self employed or a student.
Therefore, I was pleased to find a page on the “How To Germany” website which gives a good overview of how it is all structured and some of the rules and regulations which govern it all. Click here to go directly to that page.
All of us who choose to live in Germany find one of the most daunting aspects is what to do when medical problems occur. Indeed, one of the most common questions I am asked is how to go about finding an English-speaking doctor, dentist or optician. Whilst I plan on doing a full article on this subject in the near future, I just want to share my experiences gained over the couple of years or so that I have spent here. Continue reading
Does anybody know any good surveyors, specialists or builders capable of properly assessing damp problems and proposing remedies?
I am not looking for the usual cowboy gangs (who are sadly in the majority) who stick a two pronged resistance meter in the wall and declare the whole universe is suffering from rising damp, I am looking more for someone who understands older buildings and how they “breathe”, the use of traditional breathable materials such as lime plaster and can give proper guidance rather than promote methods which just hide the problems and ultimately make matters worse.
From my limited knowledge, I know that most damp problems are not generally caused by ‘rising damp’ as is usually considered to be the culprit. Instead, they are very often caused by surprisingly simple things, invariably by the previous use of modern materials for repairs and renovations which actually trap moisture. This trapped moisture often goes unnoticed until and only manifests itself when the real damage is done. Old houses generally relied on being able to ‘breath’ to keep damp out, but over the years the trend has been to seal places to keep the precious heat in or to make them easier to maintain, although this is often to the detriment of the building.
I would really appreciate any feedback or experiences both good and bad from others who have had damp problems to contend with, and as usual I have included a contact form below and I promise not publish anything told to me without express permission.