The accident physician procedure
If an accident at work is likely to result in an inability to work, then the injured person must consult an accident physician (“Durchgangsarzt” = D-doctor). This so-called D-doctor procedure ensures that accident victims receive the best possible treatment quickly.
D-Arzt doctors are specialists in surgery or orthopedics with special knowledge and experience in the field of accident medicine. They are appointed by the accident insurance institutions. In addition to the appropriate qualifications, i.e., completed specialist training as a surgeon or orthopedic surgeon, as well as the necessary staffing and space in the practice, the physician applying for appointment as a D-doctor must ensure constant accident medical readiness.
D-doctors decide on further treatment
In principle, both employers and primary care physicians are required to immediately present all those incapacitated for work or all accident victims who are expected to require treatment for more than one week to a D-doctor. After conducting his own examination, the physician decides whether special treatment or possibly even hospitalization is necessary or whether care by the family doctor is sufficient. He records the result of this examination in a report (Dreport).
The decision fixed here as to the form in which the injured person's treatment is to be provided after the occupational accident and by whom it is to be carried out is binding on the accident insurance institution.
Special treatment for severe injuries
In addition to the D-doctor procedure, there is also the injury type procedure and a special procedure for eye and ear, nose and throat injuries as part of the special treatment provided by the employers' liability insurance association. According to the injury type procedure, insured persons with particularly severe injuries requiring inpatient treatment must be treated in selected and approved hospitals or in special institutions run by the workers' compensation association. Insured persons with eye or ENT injuries must be presented to the relevant specialist as soon as possible. He or she will then decide whether general treatment is sufficient or whether special curative treatment is indicated.