Asylum seekers struggle within the German health care system

CCTV News

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Refugees are a hot topic at this year’s World Health Summit in Berlin. Germany let in some 890,000 asylum seekers last year, putting huge strain on state resources.


CCTV’s Guy Henderson reports. Follow Guy Henderson on Twitter @guyhendersonde

Asylum seekers struggle within the German health care system

Asylum seekers struggle within the German health care system

For those arriving, basic healthcare seems assured. It is the seriously sick who might have to leave, whose future is increasingly contested.

State health resources were severely strained by the 890,00 asylum seekers who arrived in Germany last year. But now, with proper systems in place and far fewer people filling waiting rooms, doctors said medical help is readily available: both on a basic level and for those with acute conditions.

For asylum seekers like this young Chechen lady, who asked not to be identified though, such care may not last.

Immigration officials said only around 6 percent of applicants from this region of Russia get their papers. Her illness, cerebral palsy, is not grounds for asylum.

German law prevents deportation of failed asylum seekers, only if they’re likely to die from their illness in their country of origin.

Since the start of the refugee crisis, doctors and charities say lawmakers have strengthened the burden of proof for a right to remain for treatment.

For those arriving, basic healthcare seems assured. It is the seriously sick who might have to leave, whose future is increasingly contested.