New cuts target health service abuse

Hospital Costa del Sol
Health service is already struggling

As Spain continues to struggle with it’s faltering economy and high unemployment the government have announced extra cuts to health and education.

The new measures aim to curb “abuse” of the health service by foreigners travelling to Spain for medical treatment.

“We must avoid foreigners abusing the health service in Spain,” said finance minister Cristobal Montoro speaking to Radio Nacional de Espana.

“There are Europeans who come to Spain to use services which are not available in their own countries,” he explained.

The Spanish health service is currently struggling with debts of 20 billion euros and now has to find an extra seven billion euros following the new cuts, which aim to make the service “more rational” and to “improve efficiency”.

There have been suggestions that making rich people pay for health care could help the service but reports suggest that this will not now be implemented.

Montoro said details of the cuts would be available shortly and would be implemented at the end of April.

I don’t see why it is happening. If you are a resident you have a social security card which entitles you to treatment. If you are a tourist you should have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) and in those cases, monies paid out for treatment can be claimed back from the issuing country. So if you don’t have either then you have to pay, surely? Is it really so complicated?