Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The crunch may be coming

Fourteen thousand health cards belonging to EU and non-resident foreigners have been withdrawn in Torrevieja. These are for people who neither contribute to the Social Security system in Spain nor have proof that their status in the country has been regularised. In order to get their SIP cards back, these people will have to prove that they have residency status in Spain and that they are not entitled to health care in another EU country.

The measure is designed to prevent what is described as health care tourism whereby people play the system by deciding which country they wish to be treated in. Basically, when you leave one country  and register for healthcare in Spain, you should give up your rights to treatment in the country you left. You can’t expect to be able to access full treatment in both countries.

If this has happened in Torrevieja, then it is bound to happen in Orihuela Costa and possibly in Bigastro. Apparently , what you need is a) proof that you have residency here in Spain and b) proof that you have given up your rights to health care in the country you left.

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