Healthcare for Refugees

What are my rights?

Young family and doctor

Everyone has the right to primary medical care in Germany. However, the extent of healthcare services and medical treatment you are entitled to depend on your residence status and the duration of your stay in Germany.

Refugees who have a residence permit usually join a health insurance scheme and are therefore entitled to all regular services their health insurance company provides. You can read more about the German health insurance schemes in our chapter "Health insurance".

Refugees who receive benefits- according to the Asylum Seekers' Benefits Act ("Asylbewerberleistungsgesetz")- are also provided with healthcare services. But based on the law mentioned, the scope of medical services provided to them is somewhat limited and access to healthcare is usually passed through the relevant authorities. If your asylum procedure is still ongoing or in case you have a tolerated stay ("Duldung") or have been issued a border crossing certificate ("Grenzübertrittsbescheinigung"), you belong to this group. Asylum seekers who are included in this group are divided into two subgroups based on the length of their presence in Germany:

1. People who have been in Germany for less than 15 months, and

2. people who have been in Germany for more than 15 months.

What kinds of healthcare service can I access?

I have been in Germany for less than 15 months

I have been in Germany for more than 15 months

How do I find a doctor?

Are psychiatric treatments covered?

What can I do if I have no papers?

What can I do in the case of an emergency?

Important

Doctors are not permitted to disclose any information about you to other people or authorities without your consent. This rule is called medical confidentiality or "ärztliche Schweigepflicht".