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5. Health and medical care

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Health system and providers

Should you be sick, you are first examined by a general Should you be sick, you are first examined by a general practitioner. The physician will issue prescriptions for medical drugs and can transfer you to a specialist physician or to a hospital. Most of the physicians fix dates and times for the treatment. Therefore it is best to agree on an appointment by phone and comply with it.

You may consult a physician who speaks foreign languages or ask a Sprachmittler (interpreter) to accompany you or assist you by phone. Under Medinetz Halle e.V. you find anamnesis forms in several languages. Physicians are bound to medical secrecy. They are not allowed to disclose any information given by you to other persons.

You are treated in a hospital only when a treatment by a local physician is not sufficient. Please go to a hospital in emergency cases only. In case of medical emergencies, please ask for assistance by an ambulance, by an ärztlichen Notdienst (medical emergency service), or in a Krankenhaus (hospital).

Many medical drugs are handed out in chemist's shops only. Certain medical drugs ("prescription drugs") are only handed out to you after the presentation of a physician's prescription. Numerous freely available medical drugs, not requiring prescription, can be bought. You have to pay for them. At least one chemist's shop is opened 24 hours a day. The control centre of the Professional Fire Brigade informs about the emergency chemist service under phone number 0340 850-50-40.

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Medical care in asylum proceedings

Medical care in asylum proceedings

When you are granted benefits as per Asylum Seekers Benefit Law, your necessary medical care is financially supported by the When you are granted benefits as per Asylum Seekers Benefit Law, your necessary medical care is financially supported by the Amt für Soziales und Integration (Welfare and Integration Office).

For every quarter of the year, the Welfare and Integration Offic issues to you treatment vouchers (for medical examinations in case of acute diseases, pains or pregnancy) for the medical care by a general practitioner, a dentist or a gynaecologist, if applicable.By means of these vouchers you can be treated by the physicians in Dessau-Roßlau. For the continuing treatment by a specialist and for dental treatments, you have to file an application with the Welfare and Integration Office. This application has to be mailed to the Welfare and Integration Office or handed in at the Bürgerbüro (Citizens' Office) in an addressed envelope.

Medical care in ensured asylum status

Medical care in ensured asylum status

As soon as you have been granted an ensured asylum status and are paid allowances by the Jobcenter, the medical care for you is also changing. You get your own health insurance by a Krankenkasse (health insurance company). rankenkasse (health insurance company). For this purpose, you file an application with a health insurance company. The costs are borne by the Jobcenter, as long as you are unemployed. You get your own health insurance card and can go to a physician without a treatment voucher.

The health insurance company does not pay the total cost of some medical treatments. You may apply for an allowance to the costs or the bearing of the costs by the Jobcenter. You are entitled to all regular services of the health insurance companies after a qualifying period of 15 months.

People who do not hold any health insurance and are not in asylum proceedings are given medical assistance by Medinetzen (medical networks).

Assistance in the maintenance of sick and elderly people

Assistance in the maintenance of sick and elderly people

In Germany, every member of the statutory health insurance scheme automatically becomes a member of the social nursing care insurance scheme too. The social nursing care insurance fund bears part of the cost when a person needs long-term nursing care in Germany. In need of long-term nursing care are persons who cannot independently live on their own for health reasons and need assistance from other people. The decision on the need of longterm nursing care is taken by the competent nursing care insurer. You have to apply for benefits from the statutory nursing care insurance fund with your nursing care insurer. Depending on the necessary care and the care degree of person requiring long-term nursing, the nursing care insurance fund:

  • financially assists the care of the affected person in his/her flat with or without assistance by ambulant nursing services, or
  • in a nursing home.

When relatives render the care at home, a nursing care allowance can be applied for. Regarding advice is given by all nursing care insurers or in the Zentralen Informationsbüro „Leben und Wohnen im Alter und mit Behinderung“(Central Information Office "Living and Housing at Old Age or with Handicap").

Assistance of handicapped persons

Assistance of handicapped persons

The German government promotes the equal participation of people with physical, mental or psychic handicaps in social life. Severely handicapped persons are specifically protected in their occupational and professional activities in Germany, e.g. regarding the termination of labour contracts. When you suffer from a handicap or severe handicap, a (severely) handicapped certificate is issued to you by the Landesverwaltungsamt  (State Administration) on application, as proof of the degree of your handicap. You can benefit from this document in public transport, for example. Advice and assistance concerning handicaps are given by the kommunalen Behindertenbeauftragten (Municipal Commissioner for Handicapped Citizens) sowie von Behindertenverbänden (handicapped people's associations).

Psychological advice and therapy

Psychological advice and therapy

Should you suffer from psychic impairments, support by psychological advice and therapy is given by the Psychosozialen Zentrum für Migrantinnen und Migranten in Sachsen-Anhalt (Psycho-Social Centre for Migrants in Saxony-Anhalt). In the centres at Halle and Magdeburg, you are assisted in the mental digestion of experienced persecution, violence and torture. Children, adolescents and families are also welcome in the Psycho-Social Centre. All services are free. In case of need, interpreters can also be ask to render free assistance.

When you are member of a health insurance scheme, you can get a psycho-therapeutic treatment by psychotherapists. Asylum seekers with specific needs are also entitled to psychological treatment by psychotherapists. This applies, inter alia, to minors, handicapped people, elderly people, persons suffering from mental impairments and persons who have been exposed to severe forms of psychic, physical or sexual violence. To identify the special needs, the individual case is checked. When you need psychotherapy, contact your family physician and ask him/her to issue a transfer voucher. Afterwards you can directly consult a psychotherapist. You find them e.g. on the website of the Kassenärztlichen Vereinigung Sachsen-Anhalt (Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians).