LIVING IN GERMANY

Health

What if I become ill?

Symbolbild für Apotheke (c) picture-alliance/dpa

For less serious illnesses, for example colds or headaches, you can buy medication directly from the pharmacy. The people working there can also advise you.

If you are seriously ill and would like to go to a doctor, you must first go to the Sozialamt (social services department), where you will get a special Krankenschein (health insurance certificate). You can then go to a doctor with this certificate. The Sozialamt (social services department) pays for the doctor’s appointment and medication. In order to obtain stronger medication, the doctor will give you a Rezept (prescription) which you then take to the pharmacy.

In some Bundesländer (including Bremen and Hamburg), there is an elektronische Gesundheitskarte (electronic health insurance card) for refugees. You can go straight to the doctor, taking this Gesundheitskarte (health insurance card) with you, and you do not have to apply for the appointment beforehand at the Sozialamt (social services department).

Rapid assistance with or without a Gesundheitskarte (health insurance card)

If you visit Medibueros.org, you will find a list of addresses where refugees and people with no residence status can receive quick, free assistance.

If you have been a victim of torture and violence or suffered other nasty experiences, you can find help here.

You can find more information on the topic of health in the brochure “Health Guide for Asylum Seekers in Germany”. You can download it and order it here.