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PP unfazed by court ruling for free immigrant healthcare

Source: El Pais - Thu 20th Dec 2012
PP unfazed by court ruling for free immigrant healthcare

Spanish MP's this week sought to downplay the significance of a ruling the previous day by the Constitutional Court that restores the right to free healthcare for illegal immigrants in the Basque Country - at least in the short term.

The central government has barred undocumented immigrants from receiving healthcare unless they take out insurance to cover it, except in the case of pregnant women, minors and emergencies. The former regional government of Basque Socialist leader Patxi López passed a decree circumventing the ban, which the central government appealed.

The Constitutional Court decided that cutting off healthcare for illegal immigrants acted against public health as a whole by failing to control contagious diseases.

Sources at the National Ministry of Health said they did not feel "in the least" that the court ruling delegitimized their measures. The PP's secretary for health and the health commissioner in the region of Castilla-La Mancha insisted the ban would stay, adding that the court's ruling in "no way" constituted a "call to order" for the government. He said the savings from the ban have been "extraordinarily positive for Spaniards and for the sustainability of the health system."

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