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Hundreds of thousands of people in Germany do not have health insurance
In Germany, several hundred thousand people living here are unable to seek medical treatment. Foreigners without regular residence status are particularly affected. The German Medical Association pointed out this shortcoming in Berlin last week.
Health insurance obligation in Germany
Although health insurance is compulsory in Germany, not all people in this country receive adequate medical treatment. Foreigners without a clear residence status are particularly affected. The German government is held responsible for this deficit by the doctors. German doctors are therefore calling for better regulations for the treatment of hundreds of thousands of foreigners without health insurance or a clear place of residence. The human rights representative of the German Medical Association, Ulrich Clever, emphasized in an interview that it cannot be that people with a migration background do not go to a doctor at all or too late for fear of deportation or because of a lack of health insurance.
Bureaucratic hurdles against insurance protection For treating physicians there are questions such as compliance with confidentiality or the assumption of costs. Medical doctors would also have to refrain from the necessary therapies, which is why patients' illnesses are getting worse and often end up in a medical emergency, according to Clever. According to the ethics committee of the German Medical Association, according to current estimates, there are "between 200,000 and 600,000 people without a clear residence status" in Germany. In addition, "there would also be people, especially from Eastern European countries without work and health insurance protection and asylum seekers, both with and without a secure residence status". The Asylum Seekers Benefits Act actually guarantees the necessary medical treatment. However, the health certificate must be applied for at the social welfare office and is often rejected. It is particularly criticized that children and adolescents in particular do not receive the necessary preventive examinations, vaccinations and therapies. The ethics committee warned: "For many people without a valid residence permit and their children, there is virtually no regular treatment option."
Anonymous help in an emergency Since 2001, the Malteser Werke has also been offering anonymous treatment. According to a spokeswoman for the Malteser in Fulda, "if a person can no longer stand the pain or an illness threatens his life, the only question is how that person can get well again." (Sb)