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Are there policies and/or good practices accomodating culture/ traditions' respect in health care

Key Area:
Health And Social Protection
Discrimination, Equality
25/01/2013 - 14:40
Short Answer


Qualitative Info

One main objective of the National Action Plan (NAP), which was recently presented by the federal government, is to improve the access to preventative and health promotion programmes, health system facilities and services, healthcare facilities and services and employment in the health and healthcare system for migrants.
In addition, there have been a lot of governmental and non-governmental good practices accommodating culture/traditions’ respect in health care, in the last years, most of them on the local or regional level:
In 2010, the annual conference of the independent German Ethics Council was entitled “Migration and Health – Cultural Diversity as a Challenge for Medical Care”, sought to provide answers to questions in the area of immigrant health care by providing scientific and practical lectures in medical, legal and ethical perspectives.
In 2008, the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) financially supported the three-year project of the municipal health department in Nuremberg that aims to identify existing barriers in the access to health care services for migrants and to find adequate ways to redress them.
In late 2008, the Diakonie (DW EKD) and three of its regional branches launched the three year project Mitten im Leben, which seeks to redress existing structural barrier that migrants face in the access to social and health care services of the Diakonie. More precisely, the process of intercultural adaptation (“Intercultural Opening”) of health and social care providers should be promoted on several levels: through organisational changes, culturally sensitive internal and external communication, changes regarding the staff and the quality of the services provided.
In the area of nursing care, there have been good practice examples on the integration of migrant seniors into the general services of the care system for elderly. For instance, the nursing home for elderly Adam Müller-Guttenbrunn (AMG), run by the welfare organisation Caritas Stuttgart, has implemented several measures pursuing an intercultural transformation of their services. Amongst other activities, the AMG conducted intercultural training for all their staff, which consists of employees from different countries. A working group, comprising representatives of the management and employees, was commissioned to develop a nursing concept and standards which takes into account the specific needs of migrants. Furthermore, a new ‘biography questionnaire’ has been used in order to gain information on the cultural and religious needs of the individual residents.

As another good practice example, the project Dong Ban Ja – Cross-cultural Hospice (Dong Ban Ja – Interkulturelles Hospiz) run since 2005 can be mentioned. This hospice helps and nurses critically ill and dying persons and their families independent of their religion or nationality. It offers spiritual, bereavement, and care support. The families are not charged any fees. Instantly it is building up a multilingual mobile hospice service to overcome potential cultural or language problems. The project won the second place in a nationwide competition on integration.


  1. Federal Government (27.12.2011): Der Nationale Aktionsplan Integration., Accessed on 12.01.2012.
  2., Accessed on 12.01.2012.
  3., Accessed on 12.01.2012.
  4., Accessed on 12.01.2012.
  5., Accessed on 12.01.2012.
  6., Accessed on 12.01.2012.
  7. Interkulturelles Hospiz:, Accessed on 16.01.2013.


Groups affected/interested
Type (R/D)
Key socio-economic / Institutional Areas Health and social protection
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