Medical Assistance - MEDA

The REAG/GARP 2.0 programme supports people who want to return to their country of origin voluntarily. People who are sick are also accompanied from counselling to integration in the country of origin.

In the decision-making phase, those interested in returning can be supported with individual counselling on medical questions with the help of ZIRF Counselling (Zentralstelle für Informationvermittlung zur Rückkehrförderung, ZIRF), through individual inquiries or general country-specific information sheets, the so-called Country-Fact-Sheets (CFS).

If people decide to return voluntarily despite health restrictions, a doctor must check whether they are fit to travel and issue a certificate of fitness to fly before preparations can be made for the transport phase.

The reintegration phase is about options for further medical care. For this, the conditions in the country of origin must be right. This includes the availability of medication, access to the health system and the financial and geographical accessibility of the range of services.

Eligible persons
People who are acutely or chronically ill can get medical assistance if they are eligible under the REAG/GARP 2.0 programme. This includes both physical and mental illnesses that are harmful to health.

Particularity when processing medical cases
When dealing with medical cases, the focus is on the returnee's informed decision. The current state of health and suitability for travel must be checked, i.e. it must be clarified whether medical support is necessary during the trip and to what extent further medical care can be guaranteed in the destination country. The current state of health and fitness to travel must be checked. If further treatment in the home country is not sufficient or not at all, it must be ensured that the person interested in returning is informed about possible consequences for their state of health and can thus make an informed decision. It can take a long time to collect all of this information. In MEDA cases, longer processing times must therefore be expected.

Type of support
- Assumption of additional flight costs, for example medical oxygen, business class, transport on a couchette
- Assumption of additional ground-based transport costs, for example patient transport, wheelchair taxi
- Financing a (non-) medical companion during the return, for example family members, paramedics, doctor
- supply of necessary medication for a maximum of 3 months (benefit in kind)

In-kind assistance for serious medical cases
Costs of various kinds can be funded as benefits in kind.
This includes:
- Medical treatments, e.g. visits to the doctor, operations
- Therapeutic treatments, for example psychotherapy
- Medicines, for example tablets, insulin
- Medical aids and devices, e.g. wheelchairs (In exceptional cases, alternative goods and services are possible.)

Benefits in kind after arrival can be funded with up to EUR 2,000 per person. These must be people with serious/life-threatening illnesses or particularly care-intensive cases. The payment of medical costs in kind must be applied for three months after arrival in the destination country.

In the case of a proven pregnancy, a complete copy of the maternity passport must be enclosed with the REAG/GARP 2.0 application. In particular, information on the expected date of delivery, general examination findings and any pregnancy risk are decisive. At the end of the 36th week of pregnancy, it is no longer possible to depart before the birth. Depending on the airline, this deadline may be earlier. A certificate of fitness to fly must be presented at the request of the airline (usually from the end of the 28th week of pregnancy) and in the case of high-risk and multiple pregnancies. This certificate must not be older than eight days on the day of departure.

Additional information
Medicines can only be approved for a maximum of 3 months upon presentation of a prescription and a cost estimate. A doctor's letter should not be older than 2 weeks. The MEDA/MEDIF form should not be older than 7 days when submitting the application. The certificate of fitness to fly should not be older than 8 days upon departure.