The influx of more than one million asylum seekers from Africa, Asia and the Middle East is placing unprecedented strain on Germany’s healthcare system.
Hospitals, clinics and emergency rooms across Germany are being filled to capacity with migrants suffering maladies of all kinds, and medical personnel, including thousands of volunteers, are increasingly complaining of burnout.
Diseases are also reappearing that have not been seen in Germany for years. German public health officials are now on the lookout for Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever, diphtheria, Ebola, hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, malaria, measles, meningitis, mumps, polio, scabies, tetanus, tuberculosis, typhus and whooping cough. As refugee shelters fill to overflowing, doctors are also on high alert for mass outbreaks of influenza and Norovirus.
Compounding the challenge, tens of thousands of migrants arriving in Germany — particularly migrant children — have not been immunized, and German doctors are finding that needed vaccines are not readily available due to a lack of supply. Some German parents are panicking that there are not enough vaccines to immunize their own children.
Many migrants are also suffering from a host of traumas and mental illnesses. According to the Chamber of German Psychotherapists (Bundespsychotherapeutenkammer), at least half of all migrants arriving in Germany have psychological problems, including post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, and roughly 40% have contemplated suicide.
German hospitals are also being forced to hire a virtual army of interpreters so that doctors can communicate with asylum seekers, who speak dozens of languages, dialects and variants.
At the same time, German hospitals are increasing security to protect doctors and nurses from violent attacks by migrants who are unhappy with the medical treatment they are receiving.
Critics are warning that German taxpayers will end up paying billions of euros to provide healthcare for a never-ending wave of asylum seekers. This is in addition to the billions of euros already being spent to provide newcomers with food, clothing and shelter.