Every resident in Germany must have health insurance coverage. There are a great number of health insurance companies in Germany. You will find a selection in the phone book or on the Internet.
You can apply for health insurance coverage with a health insurance company of your choice by
- applying in person
- applying through your employer
- applying through the Employment Agency/Jobcenter
If a married person already has health insurance, that person’s spouse (if unemployed) and the common children (up to a certain age limit) can be co-insured free of charge under a family insurance plan at the same health insurance company.
If your job in Germany is subject to mandatory social insurance contributions, you automatically have health insurance, either as a member of the statutory health insurance plan or of a private health insurance plan.
If you or your child are sick, it is best to first see a family doctor in your neighbourhood. If further treatment by a specialist is required, the family doctor will refer you. Many doctors speak several languages.
What do I do in an emergency?
In an emergency, you have two possibilities:
- Call 112 if lives are at risk and in serious cases. By calling this number, you are connected to the emergency and rescue services. The phone number is valid throughout Germany.
- You can also drive to a hospital emergency room if you are capable of doing so. Emergency rooms are open around the clock.
The Medinetz Freiburg project started in 1998 and has set itself the goal of building a system of medical care for refugees and migrants without access to health care (undocumented). The staff does not provide any medical treatment itself, but refers patients to doctors who provide the treatment.
The Regional Association of the German Red Cross has set up a health fund for people without legal residence status. Undocumented people can use this fund to receive a subsidy for the costs of medication, dentures or other medical aids. Those affected can contact the Medi-Netz for this purpose.
Brochures on family planning, sexuality and relationships are available at Pro Familia in 13 languages, e.g. in Arabic, French, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Spanish and Turkish. (www.profamilia.de) Some counselling centres that are listed in the chapter on marriage, partnership and family also offer advice on health matters. Some facilities for women and girls are also mentioned (Women and Girls).
Further contacts and counselling centres are listed below:
District of Freiburg Chapter of the German Red Cross (Deutsches Rotes Kreuz Kreisverband Freiburg e. V.)
Health centre for immigrants
- Individual health counselling
- Referrals to doctors who speak foreign languages
- Referral to other institutions in the health sector.
Counselling centre for family planning, sex education, sexual counselling and unwanted pregnancy
We will call in an interpreter, if necessary
Counselling and help with the following issues:
- Pregnancy and birth
- Sex education
- Medical advice
- Relationships / sexuality
- Separation, divorce, mediation
AIDS support Freiburg (AIDS-Hilfe Freiburg e. V.)
Counselling centre for sexual health
- anonymous counselling for all and help for people with HIV
- Information about sexually transmitted diseases (STI) incl. HIV/Aids and HIV/STI testing each first and third Moday evening (by appointment)
The following information is intended for refugees without recognition as asylum-seekers or as refugees (people before the start of the asylum procedure, in the middle of the asylum procedure or people whose deportation has been suspended). Refugees who have been recognized as asylum seekers or refugees can find the information relevant to them on the remaining pages of the guide, which is intended for all migrants.
Visits to the doctor
If you or your child is sick and would like to see a doctor, please contact your Social Service Centre first, if possible. They will refer you to the appropriate doctor and give you the necessary documents. To this end, some of the refugee centres are collaborating with the "Refudocs Freiburg" network, which coordinates medical care.
Costs for your medical care
The costs of any necessary medical treatments for refugees are paid by the Office for Migration and Integration; however, this only applies if refugees receive benefits under the Asylum Seekers' Benefits Act and do not have their own health insurance. The doctor then settles the bill directly with the Office for Migration and integration so that refugees do not have to pay when visiting a doctor. Refugees only receive the most basic medical services during the first 15 months after their arrival in Germany.
What to do in case of an emergency?
There are several options in case of an emergency:
- Do make sure to directly contact your Social Service Centre if there is one in your area.
- If there is no Social Service Centre close by, you can dial 112 when a life is at risk and in very serious cases. This number will connect you with the emergency service, and it applies throughout Germany.
- If there is no Social Service Centre close by and you are able to do so, you can also drive to the hospital's emergency department yourself. The emergency departments are open around the clock. However, you should only use this option where a life is at risk and in very serious cases!
University Emergency Department, University Hospital Freiburg
Telefon: (0761) 270-33333
Maps: see map "Central Clinic", number 10
Medical care for undocumented refugees
Medinetz Freiburg has set itself the goal of providing access to medical care for refugees without valid residence status or with inadequate health insurance. They are referred to various doctors and specialists as well as psychologists, physiotherapists and midwives working for Medinetz. Medinetz Freiburg is a project of the so-called "Rasthaus" initiative and campaigns against discriminatory and racist asylum policies.
Psychotherapeutic Centre for Immigrants Freiburg (PAMF), Psychoanalytic Seminar Freiburg (PSF)
- Psychotherapy for adults and referrals
- Supervision, continued education, seminars and lectures
- Advanced courses for interpreters in the terminology of psychoanalysis and psychoanalytical therapy in cooperation with the German Red Cross, District Association Freiburg
Please bring: health insurance chip card; referral under the Asylum Seekers' Benefits Act; hospital records, where applicable
Brochures on family planning, sexuality and partnerships are available at pro familia in 13 languages, for example, in Arabic, French, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Spanish and Turkish (www.profamilia.de). Also see the contact information for pro familia below.
Some counselling centres, which are listed in the chapter on marriage, partnership and family, also offer advice on health issues. Some organisations for women and girls are also listed (see Women and Girls).
Get Together Project, German Red Cross, District Association Freiburg
Support for traumatized persons, preventive health care, job market integration
Group counselling for men and women, individual assistance, referral of midwives, courses for interpreters, information sessions, collaboration with various sports clubs and projects, referral of "volunteer sponsors", German courses and job application training
pro familia Freiburg e.V., Counselling Centre
Medical, psychosocial and legal advice on any matter concerning sexuality, pregnancy, childbirth, impending parenthood and family
Please let us know in advance by phone if you need an interpreter.
Counselling for individuals, couples and families on the following subjects:
- Pregnancy and childbirth
- Sex education
- Medical advice
- Partnership / sexuality
- Separation, divorce, mediation
AIDS Help Freiburg (AIDS-Hilfe Freiburg e. V.)
Information and counselling centre for sexual health; support and advice on medical issues and assistance with claiming benefits under immigration law and social security benefits
- Medical information, counselling and information on HIV and sexually transmitted diseases
- Rapid HIV testing
- Psychosocial, medical and legal advice and support for people who tested positive for HIV and for their relatives
- Self-help groups (women's breakfast, Sunday brunch, Staying Positive group etc.)