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.