Since 2014, the number of new cases of tuberculosis (TB) has risen in Germany by about 20%. This coincides with a large number of people applying for asylum in Germany. Some of them are from countries in which TB is much more prevalent than in Germany. The objectives of this contribution are to identify and explain barriers in the diagnosis and treatment of asylum seekers with TB and potential improvements in those fields. Data are derived from 14 problem-centred interviews that were carried out with doctors and staff from public health offices, representing the views of experts in the field of health care. On the one hand, the results suggest that structural factors are responsible for some of the barriers mentioned by the experts. For example, the restricted access to health care for asylum seekers leads to a delayed diagnosis since they visit the doctor too late (if at all). Accordingly, a nationwide implementation of an electronic health card for asylum seekers was proposed. On the other hand, individual and cultural factors play important roles as well. To those belong language barriers: they not only complicate history taking and diagnosis, but also educating patients about their disease and therapy. Moreover, the lack of knowledge concerning the German health care system increases the risk of treatment interruptions. To alleviate those problems, experts propose to carry out train-the-trainer-programmes and to install “guides” who pilot asylum seekers with TB through the German health care system.
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