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Thousands denied free healthcare

Tue 26th Apr 2011

The ministry of health estimates that there could be as many as 300'000 people resident in Spain who have been forced to acquire private health insurance, regardless of the fact that Law 14/1986 states that anyone who is resident in Spain has the right to free medical care from the state .

One such loophole where healthcare may be denied include those whose unemployment benefit has expired, but may have an income in excess of the Spanish minimum wage - currently 641 euros a month.

It will, of course, also exclude those who have never worked legally in Spain, or made social security payments to the state.

However, even induviduals wishing to make voluntary social security contributions in order to have free medical treatment are unable to do so if they do not work.

Despite the law stating that all residents must have access to healthcare, in practice, anyone who is not on the social security system is denied this right.

This effectively means that those who have taken early retirement and moved to Spain are not entitled to it.

A spokesman for the Federation of Associations in Defence of Public Health (FADSP) says that the law of 1986 superseded previous legislation which stated that only those who paid into the system could be treated free of charge.

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