OK, so what’s happening with this cutback on health services? Here’s the brief scoop, as I understand it:
The new law takes effect on the 31st of August and on that date:
- All illegal immigrants in Spain will loose their health rights, and if they have a health card, this will expire. If they have a residency permit in Spain, then they will continue to enjoy the same health rights as other citizens.
- All European citizens who are not registered as resident in Spain will loose their health rights, and if they have a health card, this will expire. They will need their European health card, issued in their country of residency, to gain access to A&E. So if your residency expires, so will your health card and your GP registration.
So, to continue to have health rights in Spain, you need to have a valid residencia (issued, in the case of EU citizens, first for five years, and can then be renewed for a further 10 year period) and be on the padrón of your village, and registered with your GP. You are then given the health card that corresponds to your federal region.
In any case, all pregnant women and underage children, whether legal or not, will continue to have full health care in Spain.
As regards paying for prescription medicine, etc;
As I understand this, you will have to pay a percentage of your medicines depending on your personal income. This is registered to your health card by the tax authorities and so when the doctor issued you a prescription, the computer knows how much you will have to pay at the pharmacy.
My advice: If living in Spain for more than six months of the year, whether working or not, go and get a residencia, then a healthcard, before the new laws come into effect.
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David, you are doing us all a service trying to understand what is an ill thought out policy – I’m not against charges but am a great fan of simplicity on tax matters even if a bit of “fairness” is lost. A 10% charge for all us oldies and we have to make the effort to justify exemptions!!!! Simple – no trouble for the chemist – and those on low incomes or with chronic problems can get exemptions – as in the English and Welsh system.
On one point – my understanding of rights of a EHIC are much more than a visit to A&E – you can see a doctor at a local health centre, etc We have been impressed by the treatment of visitors with genuine health problems – including treatment of continuing problems such as special blood tests for those on blood thinners etc
what are the implications for a visit to A&E?.Will they refuse to treat you even with an E11 card?.
It’s now called the “EHIC” card (http://www.nhs.uk/nhsengland/Healthcareabroad/pages/Healthcareabroad.aspx) as the old E111 no longer exists.
Anyway, no, A&E continues as normal.
Even if you don’t have medical cover, if you get hit by a bus you get free medical care as Spain promises free and universal emergency care to everyone.
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