Médecins Sans Frontières/Ärzte ohne Grenzen (MSF) is an international medical humanitarian organisation created by doctors and journalists in France in 1971. MSF operates independently of any political, military or religious agendas.
Today, MSF provides aid in approximately 70 countries to people whose survival is threatened by violence, neglect or catastrophe, primarily due to armed conflict, epidemics, malnutrition, exclusion from healthcare, or natural disasters.
MSF provides independent, impartial assistance to those most in need. MSF reserves the right to speak out to bring attention to neglected crises, to challenge inadequacies or abuse of the aid system, and to advocate for improved medical treatments and protocols. As part of MSF’s effort to guarantee its independence and strengthen the organisation’s link with society, we strive to maintain a high level of private income.
The humanitarian aid organization Ärzte der Welt e. V. is the German division of the international network Médecins du Monde/Doctors of the World (MdM). The 15 national members of the network implement domestic and international health care projects, currently almost 400 projects in over 80 countries around the world.
MdM provides emergency medical aid in disaster and crisis situations, supports access to health care and, if possible, assists with reconstruction measures. The network is also active in risk reduction and preparedness as well as long-term development co-operations in neglected regions around the world that receive little public attention. MdM ensures that its health services are provided equally to the most vulnerable citizens, refugees, internally displaced people and host communities, regardless of their ethnic, social, religious or political background. We believe in the importance of local partnerships in order to ensure sustainable development.
MdM’s goal is to help those in need, not only abroad but also domestically. The network has already implemented around 190 domestic health programs. In several German cities Ärzte der Welt offers access to medical care to people without health insurance or who experience difficulties in accessing the public health care system.
MdM documents and publishes eye-witness reports, human rights violations and leads campaigns to raise awareness of important topics such as poverty, migration or the costs of specific drugs. It tries to hold decision makers accountable and to convince them to support positive changes through a variety of advocacy activities.
MdM considers access to general health care to be a universal human right for everyone.
The German Red Cross (GRC) is one of 191 Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies worldwide. Together with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (International Federation) they form the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, the largest humanitarian network in the world. Its mission is to alleviate human suffering, protect life and health, and uphold human dignity especially during armed conflicts and other emergencies. Each component of the Movement has its own legal identity and role, but they are all united by seven Fundamental Principles: Humanity, Impartiality, Neutrality, Independence, Voluntary Service, Unity and Universality.
In Germany, GRC’s core activities comprise of social welfare, health care, blood donation, disaster management and civil protection, tracing services, dissemination of the International Humanitarian Law, and Youth Red Cross work.
In the international cooperation, GRC is active in emergencies, rehabilitation and development projects,always working together with the national sister society and coordinating with other Movement members. GRC works in about 50 countries worldwide, with a focus on emergency response and disaster management, disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and resilience building, considering health, water-sanitation and hygiene, shelter and social infrastructure and livelihood.
The Berlin Chamber of Physicians, founded in 1961 according to the Berlin Chamber Law, is the professional association of all Berlin physicians (approx. 25.000). Membership is required for all licensed physicians practicing in Berlin or - if they are not or no longer practicing - who are permanent residents of Berlin. The Berlin Chamber of Physicians is a democratically legitimized, self-governing statutory body and fulfils the dual function of representing interests and being a supervising body.
The Chamber of Physicians ensures that physicians are (further) educated and certified according to clear and comprehensible professional standards in order to provide optimal health care to the population. At the same time it represents the professional interests of its members and advocates that physicians can practice under appropriate conditions. It also ensures that health care problems identified by physicians are voiced and made public.
In particular, the Chamber of Physicians regulates the contents of specialty training. In Germany, physicians begin this training after passing the second state examination and receiving their license. In addition to this specialty training, physicians in Germany are required to continuously do extra training to maintain up-to-date medical knowledge. These training activities completed by physicians are kept on record at the Chamber of Physicians. Within this function the Chamber certifies training courses taking place in Berlin according to a fixed points system. Furthermore, it acts as a consulting and facilitating institution in issues concerning quality assurance. In addition, the Chamber monitors the compliance with and fulfilment of physicians' professional duties. Defining vocational training contents for medical office assistants and conducting the examinations in this field are further tasks legally assigned to the Chamber.
The Berlin Chamber of Physicians initiated and organized the first German EbM conference and is a founding member of the German Network for Evidence-based Medicine and the Guidelines International Network.