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Research study: Migration to Berlin Health care and need for support

Project type:
Contract research - research funders: GeWINO (AOK Nordost)
Employees of the bbw Hochschule - University of Applied Sciences in the research team:
Prof. Beate Schultz-Zehden, Christian Wienicke and Anna Sindel (student research assistant)
Specialist group:
Business sciences - Health management
Term:
2015-03-15 to 2015-12-31
Cooperation partners:
Gesundheitswissenschaftliches Institut der AOK Nordost (medical benefit fund), bbw Bildungswerk der Wirtschaft in Berlin und Brandenburg e.V. (bbw foundation of business in Berlin and Brandenburg).

Since April 2015, the Gesundheitswissenschaftliches Institut Nordost (GeWINO) and the bbw Bildungswerk der Wirtschaft in Berlin and Brandenburg e.V. (bbw regional business education foundation) have cooperated for three months to investigate what migrants know about the German health care system.

AOK Nordost, the regional branch of a leading medical benefit fund, founded its Gesundheitswissenschaftliches Institut Nordost (GeWINO) in 2014. The institute is tasked with analysing and evaluating regional health care in the north-eastern German federal states of Berlin, Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. GeWINO seeks to harness the extensive account data of the 1.8 million AOK Nordost medical care recipients in order to identify regional health care processes and develop innovative solution approaches without violating data privacy rules.

Befragte nach ihrem Herkunftsland
Befragte nach ihrem Herkunftsland

For the study on “Access to health care benefits for migrants”, researchers questioned 302 migrants whose participation in B1/B2-level language courses run by the bbw Bildungswerk enabled them to communicate quite well in everyday German. Course participants at five Berlin teaching sites were asked to complete forms with 26 questions.

The respondents were immigrants from 65 different countries. 31% (88) of them were born in European Union countries. The majority came from Poland, followed by 14% from Bulgaria and 9% from Romania. The remaining 69% (196) were from other regions: Arabia (25%), eastern Europe (22%), Asia (10%), America (8%) and Africa (4%).

Hinderungsgründe für die Inanspruchnahme von Angeboten zur Gesundheitsvorsorge
Hinderungsgründe für die Inanspruchnahme von Angeboten zur Gesundheitsvorsorge

Access by migrants to German health care was a focal point of the study. It sought to discover whether migrants, especially in view of their age structure and various countries of origin, accept the offered German health care benefits and what obstacles they have to surmount in doing so.

The second major issue was what migrants know about the German health care system and how much support they need in dealing with the system, especially with medical benefit funds.

71% of respondents had no difficulties in joining a German benefit fund. Most frequently mentioned by the remaining 29% as their greatest problem was “lack of information in my native language”.

To overcome the language barrier against access to health care, the questioned migrants first of all seek information from friends and relatives. However, employers or trainers are already ranked second as helpers to obtain health benefits.