Asylum law: More expensive therapies are also available to asylum seekers

Hesse's national court has clarified which medical services are entitled to asylum seekers. Specifically, it was about treating a man with hepatitis C.

Asylum law: More expensive therapies are also available to asylum seekers

Asylum seekers in Germany are entitled to a cost-intensive medical treatment if this is necessary for health reasons. This was decided by Hessian national Court of Darmstadt. This applies at least if it is not merely a petty disorder and person's stay in Germany is not only short-term.

The specific case concerned a man from Azerbaijan who was infected with hepatitis C. The court obligated district of Fulda to take over costs of an antiviral rapy with man in an interim order. A medical opinion had previously shown that chances of cure for such rapy would be 90 percent in present case. According to court, decision is indisputable and thus legally valid.

County only wanted to grant "low-level" services

The county had rejected a cost assumption for treatment. With a temporary tolerated foreigner – as is case here – sickness benefits should only be provided at "low level", county argued.

The National Court of Justice referred to constitutional reasons. The Basic Law provides for a right to ensure a decent subsistence minimum. This also includes granting of health services. According to AsylbLG, this applies not only to medical treatment of acute illnesses. In addition, services could be granted if, as here, y were essential to safeguard health. These include, according to court, all rapeutic measures required under law of Statutory health insurance (SGB v) or social assistance (SGB XII).

In Germany, AsylbLG regulates medical care in first 15 months after a person has applied for asylum. This provides vaccinations, treatments for pregnant women and for people with "acute diseases and pain conditions". Or services are only available "in individual cases to safeguard livelihood or health". Asylum seekers thus have fewer benefits than recognised refugees or Hartz IV recipients (Global social Policy: Razum Bozorgmehr, 2016).

According to critics, this means that employees of respective social office decide wher treatment is permissible and necessary – often without medical qualifications.

Updated Date: 18 July 2018, 12:02

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