[Challenges and potentials of primary care in a multicultural society]

Bundesgesundheitsblatt Gesundheitsforschung Gesundheitsschutz. 2011 Nov;54(11):1179-86. doi: 10.1007/s00103-011-1365-3.
[Article in German]


The greatest proportion of basic health care for patients with a migrational background living in Germany is provided by general practitioners. There is evidence that patients with a migrational background see a general practitioner as a gate keeper in case of physical or mental complaints even more frequently than the native German population. In contrast, the impact of migration-specific tasks in general practice appears to be relatively low in the medical and public discourse. This article analyzes the current situation of medical care for migrant patients in general practice and shows its potential to offer low-threshold high quality health care services to migrant patients and the whole population. In addition, an overview on migration-specific issues in research, teaching, and continuous medical education of general practitioners is provided. Finally, the implications of these findings for future research questions on migration-sensitive interventions are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence
  • Cultural Competency* / education
  • Cultural Diversity*
  • Curriculum
  • Education, Medical
  • Education, Medical, Continuing
  • Education, Medical, Graduate
  • Emigrants and Immigrants* / statistics & numerical data
  • Gatekeeping / statistics & numerical data
  • General Practice / education
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Multilingualism
  • National Health Programs* / statistics & numerical data
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Primary Health Care* / statistics & numerical data
  • Translating
  • Utilization Review / statistics & numerical data