On the website of the Federal Ministry of Health as well as on the one of the Ethno-medical Centres, you will find detailed multilingual Information concerting the German heath system and about important health issues.
Living in Germany means, that you must be health insured at a health insurance (Krankenkasse). Since January 2016 refugees in Schleswig-Holstein, who currently are within an ongoing asylum proceeding, but also after a negative outcome of it (tolerated), are generally health insured via the social welfare office. Concerning this, in Schleswig-Holstein, you get a health insurance card from the AOK. This health insurance card has to be taken and presented at any medical practice or hospital you go to. The card contains all relevant information, the doctor needs from you.
As soon as you have gotten a permit of residence you are allowed to choose your own health insurance company.
The health insurance covers the medical costs. However, there is a small deductible whenever you buy prescribed medications. Generally it is 10% of the price, nevertheless, the minimum deductible is €5 and the maximum is €10. Prescribed medications for children and youths are exempt from this regulation until they have completed their 18th year of life.
As long as you are within the asylum procedure, you need an approval by the the social centre within your first 15 months of residency in Germany. This approval is needed for specialised medical examinations or prescriptions. Please obtain the relevant information from your responsible employee at the social centre. Addresses of the social centres within the county of Schleswig-Flensburg may be found under the menu item "Soziale Leistungen - AsylbLG."
Choice of doctor and visit to the doctor
In Germany, the choice as which doctor you intend to visit, is purely up to you. No matter if the doctor is a female or a male one. A good doctor will listen to what you have to say and will explain to you why and how she / he is treating you.
There are family doctors; they are general practitioners and your first person to contact in case you have an urgent medical issue. For the more specific health problems, the family doctor will write a referral for a specialist. There are medical specialists for many different medical complaints. For example: Cardiologists, Dermatologists, Urologists, Gynaecologists etc.
Should you not be satisfied with your doctor? Then you are entitled to change doctors.
Via the following website, you may find a suitable doctor within your vincinity :
Furthermore you may contact your competent social center prior to your visit to the doctor/your therapy in order to double check if the costs for the translator will be covered.
In the file below you may find some helpful phrases ans sentences for the communication with the doctor (German/Arabic):
Doctor's release from confidentiality
Without your consent, no doctor is allowed to pass on medical information about you. Neither to official entities, nor to your employer and not even to your own family members. This is called medical confidentiality.
Impairments after mentally strained situations
Sometimes people experience situations or have seen things that were in a way so very shocking that they were difficult to cope with. Quite often these people suffer from insomnia, concentration difficulties, aggressions etc. It is said that these people have suffered a trauma and the result can be a psychic traumatic stress disorder. Often it is the case that people who flee to Germany from other countries had to endure very bad and awful things.
If you too had to experience a stressful situation and suffer from it, you can get help in Germany. In Germany, there are psychologists as well as psychiatrists who are specialised in the treatment of post traumatic stress disorders. The best counsel that can be given is that you have courage and trust in your family doctor, the employees of the migration counselling centre or in your guide. You may confide in them and they can help you. Together you may find a suitable psychologist and should you not yet have enough knowledge of the german language, treatment at the psychologist can still take place, aided by a translator. As far as these translators are concerned, they are trained professionals who have helped before during therapies. Both, doctor and translator, are bound by the medical confidentiality. It means that they cannot tell anyone anything what you confide in them. However, before you start with a therapy, you have to apply for the assumption of any costs for psychologists and translators at your social centre. Only after you have received the approval given to you by the social centre, you may start the therapy. It may sound quite a lot, but the employees of the migration counselling centres will aide and guide you in the procedure.
This brochure will explain to you what a trauma, a psychic post traumatic stress disorder is and the ways you can be treated.
The Max-Planck-Institut has developed a short movie that educates about symptoms that occur at traumatisation. The short film is created in German, English, Arabic and in Farsi. Look under Arabic and Persian for these language versions.
Even if children are still very young, they will notice a lot and suffer from the dire experiences. As a parent you may often do not know how to help your child. Therefore the following brochure published by the federal chamber of psychotherapy may offer you some helpful hints.
Psycho-social advice center seated in Flensburg
A new psycho-social support offering of Migrants has been successfully founded in 2020 together with the city of Flensburg.
If the need occurs you can contact the counselling centre. The counselling may take place multilingual.
You can get contact data and more detailed information from the flyer mentioned below:
- Psychosoziale Beratungsstelle_Flyer_2020PDF-Datei: (PDF, 2,2 MB)
If children are concerned, there are special doctors who take care of them, called paediatricians. Paediatricians also take care of the medical check-ups for children and youths, so called U1 until U9 screenings. They start at the birth of a baby and continue until the child has the age to go to school. Parents receive a prophylactic booklet, after their child was born. It contains the results of the examinations.
Bring the prophylactic booklet (Vorsorgeheft) when visiting your paediatrician. The screenings should take place at certain times in the development of your child. In addition you will be reminded in written form of screenings when they are due. Also: If you would like to get more information, you can get it from your paediatrician and also at the Federal Centre of Health Education.
Vaccination guide (Wegweiser zu Schutzimpfungen) published in many different languages, created by the Ethno Medical Centre e.V.
A vaccination calendar available in 20. different languages is available on the website from the Robert Koch Institut (RKI)
At the Federal Centre for Health Education you can also obtain further and more detailed multilingual information concerning pregnancies, as well as the first years of the child.