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Culturally sensitive long-term care services and sound diversity management are proven tools to adjust hospitals, doctors’ surgeries and long-term care facilities to our diverse society.

Healthcare and long-term care services are used by persons who are physically or mentally weakened and need help. Standardised processes and organisational procedures may lead to inadvertent discrimination and, thus, jeopardise patients’ trust in medical and nursing staff.

Between 2017 and the first half of 2020, 129 persons got in contact with our counsellors as they had experienced discrimination in the sector of health care and long-term care. In the representative survey of a study on discrimination in Germany (“Diskriminierung in Deutschland”, 2017), one quarter (26.4 per cent) of the persons surveyed reported that they had experienced discrimination in the sector of health care and long-term care over the past 24 months before the survey.

The medical treatment contract pursuant to Section 630a of the German Civil Code is a civil obligation within the meaning of the General Act on Equal Treatment (AGG). It encompasses medical and dental treatment as well as services of the non-medical healthcare professions.  According to the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency, the medical treatment contract, being a contract comparable to bulk business, actually falls within the scope of protection of the General Act on Equal Treatment. Thus, in case of discrimination, patients would be entitled to injunctive relief, damages and compensation. A related position paper (only available in German) was published by the Agency in autumn 2020.

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