According to the German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Children and Adolescents (Kinder- und Jugendgesundheitssurvey, KiGGS) carried out by the Robert Koch Institute (Robert-Koch-Institut), the health of children and young people and the health care available to them can be rated good to very good.
Germany has a broad variety of offers and measures relating to the early detection of health disorders and prevention including the early detection and the youth health check-ups. There is also a large number of health education and promotion services and counselling to choose from.
The call for equity in health – including for children and young people – is an important subject and features heavily in discussions on health policy in Germany. The Equity in Health Cooperation Network (Kooperationsverbund Gesundheitliche Chancengleichheit) was initiated by Federal Centre for Health Education (Bundeszentrale für gesundheitliche Aufklärung). Its key objectives are to improve equity in health in Germany and promote good health among the socially disadvantaged.
The Federal Ministry of Health (Bundesministerium für Gesundheit) has a key role in drafting and creating proposed legislation on a federal (national) level. The responsible ministries in the federal states (Bundesländer) play a central role in two main areas of German health care: inpatient care and the public health service. An important focus of activities in the federal states is on prevention, i.e. programmes and initiatives to maintain and promote public health and the health of specific target groups such as children and young people.
Traditionally, the public health service is responsible for health care and prevention (such as check-ups when starting school, counselling for mothers and pregnant women), psychiatric and socio-psychiatric community care, monitoring and counselling services relating to hygiene, infectious diseases, the movement of pharmaceuticals and environmental medicine. These tasks are usually carried out by the local health authorities in the districts and towns/cities or by specialist facilities at regional or federal state level. The federal states control the structure and responsibilities of their public health services in state laws.