General information about the health system

Health care in Germany is based on medical insurance. When you seek asylum in Germany, you do not have medical insurance at first. Government agencies therefore ensure your health care. These include,
for example, the social services department (Sozialamt) or the public health service (Gesundheitsamt). Health care includes treatment by a doctor or dentist as well as any necessary vaccinations and medically indicated preventive examinations.

Government agencies collaborate with all health care facilities.

You will be examined and treated by a doctor if

  • you are acutely ill
  • you are suffering pain
  • you are pregnant.

Dental treatment

Toothache an dacute diseases in the mouth are treated.

Particularly vulnerable persons

Children, expecting mothers, victims of torture and violence as well as people with disabilities, for example, are considered particularly vulnerable. Their needs will be given particular consideration in the provision of health care.

Important: Please keep all health care documents you receive in a safe place! These include for example, the vaccination record (Impfausweis) and the maternity record (Mutterpass). These documents contain important information that may be required for further visits to the doctor or stays in hospital.

Medical treatment vouchers and electronic health care card

Depending on the federal state you are in, you will receive either a medical treatment voucher (Behandlungsschein) or an electronic health care card (Gesundheitskarte).

Normally, a medical treatment voucher is valid only for a short time. You will receive this voucher from one of the government agencies (e.g. social services department – Sozialamt) if you are ill. You must present this medical treatment voucher to the doctor. If the doctor prescribes medication or wants to have you admitted to a hospital, the relevant government agency must approve this in advance.

In a few federal states, asylum seekers are given an electronic health care card (Gesundheitskarte) by a government agency or health insurance provider.

This electronic health care card replaces the medical treatment voucher. With this card you can consult doctors directly without first obtaining confirmation from government agencies (e.g. social services). The health care card must be kept in a safe place.

Last change: 23. February 2016
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