Health care in spain will be free

It appears there will be free health care in Spain

https://www.thinkspain.com/news-article … -six-weeks

I'm always a bit confused by news items like this one and by what was being said on the news yesterday.

Britons for instance are generally legal if they are in Spain yet, in the 14 years that I've been here, a Briton who was not of pensionable age or paying into the social security system or a dependant of someone who is has not been entitled to free health care during that time.

It's a bit like the Aquarius news headline. Spain accepts refugees. But yesterday's news was that the people on the boat would be processed as usual so that purely economic migrants would be turned back. news articles and administrative procedure are not always the same

Chris, 

I know what you mean.  Getting real info can often be difficult.


On these same lines, maybe someone can answer the question in the email below.

I have sent and re-sent it several times, copied to lots of Gov offices, included  Theresa May.  but not one reply.



Enviado: 15 February 2018 13:03
Para: public.enquiries[at]homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk
Asunto: 'Free' health cover via form S1

Since retiring in UK 30 years ago, I have lived in Spain.

I know, the DWP pays a flat rate per year for each retired UK citizens, and dependent spouse,  who have registered on the Spanish health service, via the S1 system.   I believe it is around £3,000

I wish to know what the exact flat rate paid by DWP for per person

I want to be able to clarify, for both UK citizens and Spanish nationals,   that we are not ‘brexit’ parasites as DWP pays for each of us.

I have spoken to DWP who called me back with a home office telephone  number explaining that by calling the number I would able  to ask the question. I found the telephone number was not set up for general enquires.   

I should be grateful if you will tell me the exact amount which is currently being paid for the S1 ‘free’ cover.

If you are unable to give me the answer I request, please explain where I may obtain the information.


Thank you

Watched the news this morning and thought great news. The announcement was more about helping immigrates without paperwork. But that is the spin a government can put on things.
After the headlines comes the facts. One point ,comes from the article linked to, is that this has to be agreed with the health service providers (autonomous communities).
More money  for health services, I expect, will ease the path.

RibeiraSacra :

.............  One point ,comes from the article linked to, is that this has to be agreed with the health service providers (autonomous communities).............

The article I linked does say ,

    ‘There will be no regional governments who fail to comply,” she stated, hinting at possible repercussions for any which denied treatment to anyone.’

If it really does mean what it appears to say, logically (if that ever applies in Spain) then the requirement to prove medical cover when applying for EU Citizen Registration / residencia may no longer be a requirement

Hello all, this is my first posting! I hope you can give me advice please.

Hubby and I are buying a house in Lanzarote and intend to live there permanently, we will apply for residence over the next month or so, once we complete on the property purchase. we already have bank account and NIE arranged. It’s a plan we have had over 10 years and thought we couldn’t do it after the vote to leave the EU. As long as we are resident before March 2019 our EU rights are protected so we are going for it. We have enough money to live there without working ourselves and are desperate to take early retirement. However......
My son is 26 and currently lives in supported accommodation because he has schizophrenia and dyspraxia, he has been sectioned twice but his medication has now controlled his condition completely, and he’s just very unhappy, feels his life is being wasted etc. He is a lovely guy.
I want him to come with us. He will live with us and hopefully be able to work, but till he finds work we will cover his costs. He can’t keep any of his benefits I have already checked.
Can anyone tell me what we need to do to ensure he can continue with his meds in Lanzarote, also any advice about how this situation should be handled when applying for his residency etc, Any help very gratefully received.
By the way I’m not wealthy so if anyone can advice me how I might get help with medical costs for my son I’d be ever so grateful.
I can’t leave him in the U.K. he would be devastated.

I would suggest a first step might be to contact DWP to see if there is any help towards care costs

And see if the proposed free cover for all actually becomes a reality.  If it does that will affect you situation I would think

DWP overseas healthcare team told me to contact PIP and ESA, which I did but because he gets income related benefits rather than contribution based benefits he can’t keep them if he leaves the U.K.
What amazes me is that I can’t seem to get ANY help if I have him live with me in Lanzarote, but uk tax payer would save over £50k pa if he left the country. Even if he just had enough help to cover meds costs I would happily cover all other costs to see him happier. He is already cursed with the illness it seems so unfair that he might be further punished for it.
Thanks John for you message.

‘but uk tax payer would save over £50k pa if he left the country’

I think you must have made a typo

I am pretty sure one would pay more income tax In spain than in U.K.    The tax free allowance here is considerably lower than that in U.K.

I meant the cost of looking after my son, he is in supported accommodation which has similar costs to aop homes approx £800 per week. Then his esa and pip on top of that, he also has a social worker assigned to him, so the cost of all that is approx £50kpa,  but if he comes with us there’s no help at all, none that I can find anyway, and I only want help with med cost. Looks like I will be financially wiped out if I bring him, but I can’t consider leaving him, and can’t consider staying in the uk. Very difficult!
Thanks for your message though John I really appreciate it.

He would be able to get unemployment benefit for up to 6months from the UK, after leaving the EU (if it does happen) I don't know payment would still happen.

I checked with the benefits offices and they said he wouldnt because his benefits are income based not contribution based so he can’t keep anything. He might be able to keep PIP for one month (used to be called DLA).
I need to seek advice from the Health Commissioner, but can’t find contact details on the internet for UK (I can find other countries health commissioners). Anyway, thanks for the replys, I will carry on trying to get an answer from this end.

Indeed, the farce in Spain is 'low or no health insurance premiums but far higher taxes" . The bill needs to be paid someway. There is no free health care unless docs and clinics and labs live from the wind. You pay in the end and in Spain that can be usually very costly for a poor  level of care. Imagine, if I need an oncologist here for my care, I need to travel 2 1.2 hours and can only get access under public health care as the oncologist (like many here) does not work with private insurers.
If one mainly needs meds, consider getting an annual stock abroad in countries where it is far less expensive and can often be paid cash without prescription or one can easily get a prescription. Of course, bring via a different EU country as customs here is always ready to clean you out if you arrive from outside the EU. It is pure protectionism here. For Brexitters that could well become a problem.

paperdetective :

Indeed, the farce in Spain is 'low or no health insurance premiums but far higher taxes" . The bill needs to be paid someway. There is no free health care unless docs and clinics and labs live from the wind. You pay in the end and in Spain that can be usually very costly for a poor  level of care. Imagine, if I need an oncologist here for my care, I need to travel 2 1.2 hours and can only get access under public health care as the oncologist (like many here) does not work with private insurers.

From experience, in any country which lets its system get privatized to whatever extent, things go downhill in less than a decade and people end up either not getting healthcare, or getting ripped at the point of care.

This doesnt exempt US, where you cant get any decent healthcare god forbid if you live in a remote rural region without traveling long hours. That is, if you have the insurance to pay for it, and your insurance doesnt dodge. The risk of ending up with medical bankruptcy always exists. If you dont have enough money for enough insurance, you are on your own.

And public healthcare is free just like how roads are free. Paid by taxes, and we get to use them free - that doesnt make them paid.

Many people from US are immigrating to Spain these days, because social services, healthcare etc in Spain are phenomenally better and much cheaper - even though they are immigrants. Spain has kind of a reputation these days for being an example of how such things can be made work at very low costs, and very well and there are even internet memes about it.

I am an American and do not know where you get this tale that many Americans are moving to Spain, nor that health care is so great here in Spain. The health care in the USA, with all its flaws is still ten times better, faster and kinder. One may have to shop there for the best care, but in Spain there is no such option since it is here at bets mediocre. Most docs here do  not even speak English and cannot read the research published in English. That is already telling.
If you have a serious disease and you are only privately insured, so have no access to the Spanish state system, the door is shut for care from thr state clinics and that means to many specialties that the private sector does not offer. On top of that comes the fact that it is a fake private system. Al you pay for is to get into less longer wait lines if privately insured, but for the same docs that also work in the state system.. Unfortunately, not even for ALL the same docs as many specialists in the stat4e system do not go private as well. Spanish private clinics are often a joke. They are merely empty boxes where docs from state hospitals report a few times a week and rush through as many patients as they can since they make too little extra on it.
If anything, try avoiding them and go to the third option, they own private practices. That way they do not waste the money they receive from insurers on useless paper showing overhead costs of the private clinics.
It is no surprise that almost no Spanish docs have produced any significant research while US docs are spitting it out on a daily basis.z
So if you have a serious chronic health condition, you're foolish (like me, but I knew teh risk ahead of time) to go live in Spain.
Also take into account that neighbor Portugal is as bad.
In both countries, in rural areas the nearest true emergency room (not the fake one they pretend helps with emergencies) is 50-70 km away by ambulance. Only in metropolitan areas like Barcelona  Madrid, Malaga, Marbella it will be faster. But then you pay a lot more in living expenses.

With the language barrier, maybe you should learn the local language, Spanish? After all, English isn't their native tongue.

Such a comment clearly does not seem to understand that knowledge of teh science of medicine REQUIRES full knowledge of English.

By the way, I speak 5 languages fluently, including Spanish, know the health care business inside out and it still makes no difference as far as the mediocrity of Spanish health care providers is concerned. In the USA they would not be able to compete. I am sorry for my Spanish friends here and advise them to at least pay for the extra private insurance that specifically offers care in the USA with serious diseases. That such an insurance exists here is already telling. Well, at least that option is positive. It is not offered in every country.

paperdetective :

Such a comment clearly does not seem to understand that knowledge of teh science of medicine REQUIRES full knowledge of English.

By the way, I speak 5 languages fluently, including Spanish, know the health care business inside out and it still makes no difference as far as the mediocrity of Spanish health care providers is concerned. In the USA they would not be able to compete. I am sorry for my Spanish friends here and advise them to at least pay for the extra private insurance that specifically offers care in the USA with serious diseases. That such an insurance exists here is already telling. Well, at least that option is positive. It is not offered in every country.

I am sorry you feel this way, maybe Spain is not the country for you as you complained about it and that's not just the health service but other aspects of the Spanish life.

This is Spain and not America so you can not compare both the countries so maybe you are better suited to return to the USA if you dislike it so much?

In response to paper detective, here is the ranking according to WHO.
http://thepatientfactor.com/canadian-he … h-systems/
which puts Spain at 7th. Another list puts Spain at 16.
http://uk.businessinsider.com/the-healt … 018-2?IR=T
You can check for yourself where the US comes in. I am also an American and I've lived in Spain off and on for 23  years. I have no doubt that if I had a top-notch insurance plan in the US, AND lived in a large city, I could probably get better healthcare than in Spain. However, when I lived in Albuquerque, most of the top notch docs did not admit new patients. So you are left with the rest. Many of the docs in rural areas of the US, are there because thay have problems. When in Socorro, NM, for example, one of our friends from Honduras went for a pregnancy test. The doc felt her abdomen and declared her pregnant. In turns out she wasn't. I believe that doc was an alcoholic. Socorro finally got a good doc who was a Pakistani immigrant (something that will likely be affected by Trump in the future). My wife's sister in law was about 40 years old when she received a liver transplant here through the Spanish national plan. The liver didn't turn on (a very rare occurrence). She was fortunate that another suitable liver became available and that transplant was performed and was successful. This was maybe 6 or 7 years ago and she is still alive. My brother in law is a HS principal and his wife is a housewife, and are not rich. Would that happen in the US? Not to say the Spanish system is perfect. My son was in the hospital after having chicken pox with a bacterial skin infection. The pediatrician put him on an antibiotic and after a day or two I wasn't seeing improvement and mentioned it to the pediatrician, who was new. He wanted to keep him on that medication a day or two longer. My wife went to look for a surgeon for a second opinion. The bacteria was eating into his leg. The second doc immediately put our son on multiple antibiotics and also scheduled him for surgury, which solved the problem.

My own experiences have been good, but I am fortunate to have not had a serious problem. Just the same, I have medicare in the US, and pay for Medicare B as the additional cost of having a backup system for a serious problem is worth it to me.

paperdetective :

I am an American and do not know where you get this tale that many Americans are moving to Spain, nor that health care is so great here in Spain.

People, statistics, trends.

The health care in the USA, with all its flaws is still ten times better, faster and kinder. One may have to shop there for the best care, but in Spain there is no such option since it is here at bets mediocre. Most docs here do  not even speak English and cannot read the research published in English. That is already telling.
If you have a serious disease and you are only privately insured, so have no access to the Spanish state system, the door is shut for care from thr state clinics and that means to many specialties that the private sector does not offer. On top of that comes the fact that it is a fake private system. Al you pay for is to get into less longer wait lines if privately insured, but for the same docs that also work in the state system

No offense, paper, but you really dont seem to know your own country's healthcare system. US system is the one which is definitely NOT kinder, and you are shut out from care if your insurance just happens to be not enough or the wrong region.

https://www.quora.com/Were-there-any-Am … r/Dem-Stag

https://www.quora.com/Were-there-any-Am … ert-Rister

https://www.quora.com/Were-there-any-Am … -Coulter-1

https://www.quora.com/In-the-U-S-if-an- … ert-Rister

https://www.quora.com/Have-any-American … essa-E-Tea

https://www.quora.com/Have-any-American … k-Menendez

.....

If your doctors dont speak english - which they are not obliged to, by the way - you just learn the language of the country you are living in and it would be easier?

It is no surprise that almost no Spanish docs have produced any significant research while US docs are spitting it out on a daily basis.z

Thats only because you dont know the topic you are talking about enough...

https://www.voanews.com/a/spanish-hiv-v … 70893.html

So if you have a serious chronic health condition, you're foolish (like me, but I knew teh risk ahead of time) to go live in Spain.

Or alternatively, you can go back to US where every other insurer will deny you coverage because you have a chronic condition, and if you somehow succeed in getting one half-arsed one, it will end up $2000~/month at the minimum.

Alternatively you may try learning Spanish. Immense amount of Spaniards living with chronic diseases upwards of age 80, so they must be doing something right...

In both countries, in rural areas the nearest true emergency room (not the fake one they pretend helps with emergencies) is 50-70 km away by ambulance. Only in metropolitan areas like Barcelona  Madrid, Malaga, Marbella it will be faster. But then you pay a lot more in living expenses.

In rural US, you will need to travel hours to get to a doctor. Compared to US outback, Spanish countryside is lightyears ahead.

paperdetective :

Such a comment clearly does not seem to understand that knowledge of teh science of medicine REQUIRES full knowledge of English.

By the way, I speak 5 languages fluently, including Spanish, know the health care business inside out and it still makes no difference as far as the mediocrity of Spanish health care providers is concerned.

First sentence is utterly wrong, and there isnt even a need to discuss it.

But your second statement is outright contradictory - someone who speaks fluent spanish would not ever complain about doctors not knowing english.

As others said, if you are having so much problem in Spain, you may try going back to US, or learning Spanish.

Thanks Unity for addressing many points that I neglected to address, especially the one on pre-existing conditions.

The Royal Decree dated July 27 attempts to roll back the prior 2012 status.  If you can understand Spanish, there are copies of it on the internet.  It clearly states healthcare as defined by PSOE is a right and will be free to Residents.  It does not define residents.  Currently, those in Malaga and Andalucía are getting their bank drafts for Convenio Especial returned.  Apparently they already have a system in place for enrolling in the national care syste.  In the decree it states that each autonomous region has the responsibility to draw up a way to enter the system.  It is free for residents, as stated.  Here in Aragon, the government is working some at it.  Of course, this is August, and the entire country is on vacation.  I was the person who brought it to the attention of our INSS office here in Jaca that it even existed in the first place.  I have translated the new decree paragraph after paragraph.  We’ll see.  As usual, it takes a while for things to happen here.

You should not rely on this because sometimes everybody can access sometimes not, PP in charge not possible, PSOE in charge possible, no clue about the next government in charge what will they do?

For example in Catalonia, anybody, even migrants without any papers in Spain, could access the CatSalut then, the crisis with the independentism arrived, PP put the 155 and could do whatever they want in Catalonia, so they suspended the access for all to the CatSalut during months

Do not rely on this if you are coming to Spain it comes and goes

Agree. Unfortunately, this is true everywhere. But it is interesting to know the changes imposed by the 155. I was unaware of this one. In any case, if healthcare coverage is extended to all in some regions, residents can use it for the time that it exists, and then return to private plans if another political party excludes them, unless they are excluded from private plans afterward for pre-existing conditions.

Agreed but I have been here for 6 years.  If you read the history since 1986 healthcare has been free and universal more than not.  It was so till 2012 when Rajoy put the screws to it.  Actually, it was still supposed to be accesible but the INSS decided they were going to play by their own rules.

Yes, few immigrants are here from the US.  I use the term Immigrants because it refers to permanency and Expat is temporary.  The WHO ranks Spain as #8 and the US as #43 in overall care.  This is based on many things, including infant mortality rates, etc.   I was hospitalized a few times in the US in my 60 years there and I have been hospitalized here.  I have also worked in and around US hospitals for 25 years.  It is my opinion that the care is better here.  The cost definitely is less here and most physicians do not suffer from a God complex.  We have a hospital here in town and a Regional one 45minutes from here.  I broke a hip last year and the care was thorough, high quality, and fast as it is with all immediate care needs here.  Too, Spain has regulations on medication cost.  Even at full price, it is cheap here.

De acuerdo

An expatriate (often shortened to expat) is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country other than their native country.

Guess it depends on what dictionary we use.  I just googled Expat

I found the definition again.  I have no intention on returning to live in the US so therefore...  Again, it all depends on where you look for a definition. 

What is the difference between an immigrant and an expatriate?
Ex pat vs Immigrant. ... An expat or expatriate is simply defined as a person who lives outside their native country. Similarly, an immigrant is a person who comes to live permanently in a foreign country. Only one distinction is made here – immigrants intend to stay in their new country indefinitely.Jul 13, 2016

Hey guys can we get back on thread.  That is
Health care in spain will be free

Feel free to start another thread re definitions (expats etc ) if you feel it’s worth it
————————————————————
Back to Health care  in spain

Is it worth having free ‘state care’ ?

I came to spain when I was 47 i am now78.  I have had both private cover and state cover.  I no longer have private cover as it became too expensive and with too many exclusions

I now have  only the ‘free cover ‘ under the S1 scheme for which  U.K. pay spain a flat rate of 4,700 euros a year

I have had quite a lot of personal experience and some with friends and family who have been treated in spain. My experiece has included cancer, deep vein thrombosis ,  a couple of broken bones and two broken shoulder tendons, pacemaker fitted, arthritis, colonoscopy exams, cataracts,   along with mundane everyday things.

The quality of treatment , both private and state, has varied considerably , from excellent to rubbish with both

In general if one has a serious condition then one will get swift attention on the state system but if not serious it can takes months even years to get treatment or even consultations

Of course with private insurance everything is much quicker but I have experienced (strictly unnecessary) consultations, investigations and on one occasion a prostrate operation which I did not need

Sorry, but you got your "facts" which are usually WHO's America hating propaganda, wrong. I also know a little bit about US health care having lived and worked there for 18 years and knowing most specialists in both of my serious health conditions. My ex was a leading health care data expert there and internationally.

Also, I run more than 6 international patients support groups, the largest being almost 500 members in number.

The proof is in the pudding with health care, in the outcomes, not in propaganda. Any decent doc will tell you that.

Talking about outcomes, at this moment for one of my conditions there are 26 active clinical trails running in the USA and 1 or 2 in such countries as the Netherlands, UK, France, Spain, Germany. The trials for the same the Europeans run are 99% reinventing the wheel of the US trials (out of sheer envy and political connections without rational reason) which they get access to in second phases. Nothing locally developed. My survival chances and vision regeneration chances are  far superior therefore in the USA.

The specialists I spoke to in Europe are largely resentful of their superior American colleague sbut eagerly go to their conferences and read their research if they speak English. In Spain very few have English skills.

I will eventually return to the USA if my condition deteriorates although I have the option (give my dual nationality) of treatment in Spain or the Netherlands, but it is a no-brainer with here having two treatments to choose from at best or having 26 to choose from in the USA.

Poverty and heavy state involvement doe snot miraculously produce excellent health care outcomes. It just breeds rationing, less choice, very long wait lines, poorly motivated health care staff etc. That is what Spain is. It does not mean I do not like  many individual places and people here, but their health care is a nation disaster and shame. Lots die here unnecessarily just because it is 90% bureaucracy and only 10% real care.

My wife's ophthalmologists have been a parody. They only have antiquated devices or none at all or one needs stand in line getting acces sto them where in many places in the USA they run a battery of such tests on arrival. And if some clinic or doc does not there one simply goes shop around for a better one. Plenty of choice. Here good experts are rare, usually only likely to perhaps exist in the few major cities the country counts. Spain also has a system of state mandated centers of excellence so care is even more rationed that way. Often one has to travel very far for that so-called excellence". Those clinics are fundamentally state monopolies and wait times are ridiculous. One could be dead while waiting, or blind or otherwise.

It is what it is, but be aware of it instead of living in a fairy tale. Especially retirees are very vulnerable here that way and ought to be arranging proper contingency plans.

I'm not a patient advocate for nothing. My daily job is "reality checks" for fellow patients and they value that. Sometimes it may sound harsh what the news is, but if it often extends or saves lives, eyesight etc., it is well worth it.

Enjoy Spain, like I do too, but remain vigilant about your health care options, wWhich are by the way getting worse. In Galicia for exmaple the whole system is collapsing and the only "solution" politicians come up with is burdening it even more instead of liberating it. Most of us here will soon be confronted with teh full consequences of this..





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Paperdetective 

May I ask you to be specific who you are referring to in your post, especially as you are saying someone got their facts wrong

Thanks    John

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