April 23, 2012 at 11:13 am #56799
The Spanish National Health Service is €20bn in debt. That’s unsustainable anywhere.
Rajoy’s government are to implement prescription charges for the elderly and more if your income exceeds €18k. Later further charges are inevitable and a crack down on other Europeans using the free service is to begin. You can bet the level of charge will start small and then rise forever.
They are catching up with France. In France everyone requires an expensive top up mutuelle insurance otherwise a large bill will be presented for 30% of the cost.
April 23, 2012 at 5:01 pm #108500
I’ve been trying to find out how much the UK pays Spain for the healthcare British pensioners receive here in Spain.
I would love to know if it’s true that the UK pays Spain 550 million euros per year, is that true? Does it go to Madrid and then down to each medical centre?
I’d love to know because when i’ve helped some Brits out with translating I have to listen to the oldies in the waiting room moaning about the British using their service. A doctor also said it once as well.
Does the UK then pay Spain for pensioners here? If so how much? Why can’t the British shout it from the rooftops if they are having their service funded?
April 24, 2012 at 6:28 am #108504
The UK NHS pays to each EU country a fixed sum quarterly per head of retiree. This payment system starts when the retiree registers through the E121 process and comes from the contributions made over a working lifetime.
As I understand it the sum paid is equivalent to the average national health service charge for that particular countries nationals. However it’s difficult to find any written confirmation of that.
These healthcare rights for retirees form part of the Maastricht Treaty. I emphasis the word RIGHTS. It’s healthcare tourists the Spanish government seeks to crack down on because they are paid nothing for the care.
Spain has a problem with Brits who live in Spain, don’t register and abuse the healthcare system using the EHIC. (The old E111)
April 24, 2012 at 3:51 pm #108508
My OH used to be a voluntary translator at the Costa del Sol hospital. Even patients using the health card is costed and billed back to their country. A few years ago I saw the accounts of the CDS hospital. Income from other countries whose citizens had used the service was massive. Can’t remember the figure but it was in the hundreds of thousands.
About 5 years (or more) ago, the hospital tightened it’s criteria for the health card and stuck to only “urgent” work. eg. a person treated for an eye allergy was told as the treatment was not working they needed to see a Consultant, as there was a waiting list and not urgent they were told to return to their own country for treatment. Similar a man who had a stroke was released after being stabilised but no ongoing treatment even though he was paralised. In other words they are just patching up.
The accusation that foreigners are milking the system is just a smoke screen.
April 24, 2012 at 6:39 pm #108512
I doubt that it weighs down the system since Spain bills the home country for that person. From what I have seen they actually want to keep foreigners in the medical care because they actually get more money for them than the spaniards.
This is for people not being registered in Spain.
April 24, 2012 at 7:00 pm #108513
but what are the real figures? ie, does the UK ‘give’ Spain ‘550 million’ euros per year for healthcare?
Does therefore my little town healthcentre get XXXXX amount per year for British people here? I would love to know how much.
Do they bill for each individual person, ie: Mr UK had 500 euros so bill the UK for 500 euros today, then the next appointment was Mr France who had 200 euros worth so bill France etc. ?? or is it an average as I heard it might be of around 3800 euros per retired person.
I don’t agree with someone of a younger age jumping on a plane from the UK to holiday on Spain to then pitch up at hospital and ask for an operation but those who have retired here, have paid into the UK system and expect to get the healthcare they have been promised in their old age then they should get a fair deal.
I’m talking about retired people who are registered on the Padron here, not those who use the emergency card.
What about holiday insurance?? shouldn’t someone out here on holiday have insurance to cover things that aren’t broken legs or other accidents?
I also wonder how much alcohol based problems show up in certain places 🙄
April 24, 2012 at 8:31 pm #108514
I would say that people “jumping on a plane” for treatment in Spain is a myth. As I said waiting lists have lengthened so it just wouldn’t work. It may suit the Spanish authorities to play the blame game though. One man I knew who lived in Spain was told he needed a new knee but he couldn’t have one until he was 70…he was 66 🙄 He went through the UK system, 3 months. From all the years I spent in Spain I would say the traffic was the other way…lots of pensioners returning to the UK for treatment.
April 25, 2012 at 6:17 am #108515
There are two systems in Europe whereby heathcare can be obtained by a none resident EU national in another EU state. One is by prior arrangement and conditions apply.
You will see from that directive the patient pays upfront and reclaims the cost back from their own countries healthcare body.
The other is through the EHIC which is designed for emergency healthcare only. The costs of treatment under this system is borne by the particular state where it’s used. That is an EU treaty agreement. It is this misuse by foreigners the Spanish are trying to stop. There was a time when the Spanish would treat anyone based on your passport and often not even that.
Times have changed.
April 25, 2012 at 10:31 am #108517
So how does one travel to Spain for an operation when the waiting lists are as long as, and sometimes longer than the UK…doesn’t make sense. I believe Spain is the winner when they are paid a fixed sum for every UK pensioner resident in Spain as many of them still return to the UK for operations.
Valencia region I think is different but Andalucía has never operated a universal system. On the CDS if foreigners don’t have a health card they don’t let them past reception unless they show a credit card. Spain is trying to rouse the rabble to shift the blame on foreigners when infact the spanish health service is running out of money. There are many complaints in Spain now that patients are being asked to pay for dressings and other sundries which were normally provided.
April 25, 2012 at 10:51 am #108518
Yes Katy it’s exactly the same in France. If you arrive at a French hospital you must produce either the residents ‘carte vitale’ AND proof of a mutuelle insurance. If you have just an EHIC they make you sign a document stating you except liability for the charges. Then you won’t be discharged until you settle the bill. 😯
In Spain it’s complicated by the autonomous regions who run their own healthcare system and adopt different practices.
I should imagine the EU prior arrangement system is similar to private health care. Paying the costs opens doors.
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