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News | Thursday, 15 October 2015

Academies publish brief statement about health care for asylum seekers

The safeguarding of the health of all the people living in Germany is the ultimate goal of public healthcare – including the people petitioning Germany for humanitarian protection (asylum seekers). The provision of healthcare for asylum seekers presents the German healthcare system with new challenges. The German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, acatech – German Academy of Science and Engineering, and The Union of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities have responded to this situation by formulating a brief statement which was released today.

In their statement the academies identify the following priority areas of action: (1) Medical checkups and treatment in the initial reception centres; (II) Care and treatment of mental illnesses and trauma; (III) Meet the needs for qualified personnel; (IV) Addressing language and cultural concerns; (V) Improving data collection and promoting more research.

The academies recommend that medical care in the initial reception centres be provided by specialized polyclinics that should have the following features: Culturally and religiously sensitive medical expertise, (professional) interpreters, active participation in the design and organization of the initial reception centres as well as effective networking with hospitals, on-site medical professionals and social welfare organizations.

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