Migration and Health

  • A. Geiger
  • F. Hamburger
Conference paper


In the Federal Republic of Germany, the topic of “foreigners and health” currently refers primarily to former “guest workers” and their families, bringing to mind the central role of medicine in the context of migratory labour policy from 1956 to 1973. Medical personnel in the Federal Employment Service’s recruitment commissions in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Yugoslavia and Turkey carried out the central selection process: only healthy men and women, able to work and to submit themselves to stress, were of interest to German industry. This particular use of medicine for specific interests was never seriously examined, but instead accepted under the ideological cover of “preservation of national health”. In contrast, this paper supports an understanding of medicine in which the norm of “health for every individual” is clearly the principle of orientation. This is the only way in which the currently perceptible tendencies in the Federal Republic to encourage medical contributions to a policy of “evicting foreigners” can be combatted.


Federal Republic Medical Personnel Federal Employment Guest Worker German Industry 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag · Berlin Heidelberg 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Geiger
  • F. Hamburger

There are no affiliations available

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