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Illegal foreigners excluded from healthcare cover

It is hoped this law will discourage health tourism and the fraudulent exploitation of the health service by foreigners. Photo:istockphoto.com

06/08/2012 Canary Islands/Spain (BG) - Spanish Minister for Health, Social Services and Equality, Ana Mato, announced that the government has approved a proposal to exclude all foreigners living illegally in Spain from public healthcare cover. The minister claimed this law will “ensure universal healthcare for all Spanish and foreign nationals with legal residence” under the Sistema Nacional de Salud (National Healthcare System).


Mato added that passing this proposal into law marks a “giant step” towards improving the standard of cover afforded to the population. It ensures “greater control and transparency” as it clarifies where exactly resources of the NHS are going.


Another issue the Minister hopes will be addressed through the passing of this law will be solvency and viability within the health care system. It is hoped this law will also help to ensure the long term sustainability of NHS, and prevent it suffering from economic hardship in the future.


As for the health card, it will now be “interoperable across all health services provided nationally and digital medical records will serve as a tool for health professional to access patient data even if you are receiving treatment outside of your autonomy of residency.”


Furthermore, sources close to the Ministry say that this law will enable Spain to “adapt to European standards” while also discouraging health tourism and the fraudulent exploitation of the health service by foreigners.


The government also hopes to generate savings of up to €1,000million through the reform of the health system which will result in an “improvement in the allocation of the ‘Healthcare Cohesion Fund of the NHS’ used to compensate regions that provide assistance to foreigners”.




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