Health and care

Although everyone has to rely on dependable and efficient healthcare in doctors’ surgeries, long-term care facilities or hospitals at some point during their lives, discrimination can occur both when accessing and when receiving healthcare.

Those affected report, for instance, disparaging comments or discriminatory treatment due to their disability, gender identity or ethnic background or for racist reasons.
A permanent structural problem is the lack of barrier-free access to health services for persons with disabilities, but language barriers involve a risk of healthcare discrimination too, for instance for patients who are not native speakers of German.

Under legal aspects, it has not yet been definitively clarified whether or not the protection from discrimination under the General Equal Treatment Act (German abbreviation: AGG) applies to the health sector. While, according to the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency, medical treatment contracts are covered by the protective scope of the AGG, this is still a contentious issue for the courts.

The Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency provides information on the topic of discrimination in the health sector.  In addition to patient discrimination, this also includes information on the discrimination of health care professionals in the workplace.

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