UK expatriates in the Valencia region of Spain have won a partial reprieve in the battle to keep access to healthcare. Restrictions, aimed mainly at non-working expatriates, were announced in June on the right to state healthcare provision. A monthly contribution is now being asked for.
Restrictions on access to state healthcare in the Valencia region of Spain meant that from June 5th foreign nationals who weren't contributing to the Spanish economy needed to have one of two forms to have healthcare in the region.
Expatriates, many of them having chosen to relocate permanently to their holiday home in Valencia, needed to have one of the following:
- The E121, issued to British men at 65 and women at 60
- The E106, which extends access to state health services for up to 32 months after an individual stops working
A compromise has now been reached. Valencia is offering early retirees continued access to hospitals and clinics for a monthly contribution. Those with existing illnesses will not be discriminated against. Valencia has postponed introducing the plan until 15 January 2009. It is not known how much the service will cost per month, but it will be ‘reasonable and affordable’, according to the British Embassy in Madrid.
Following June's announcement, the British Embassy advised Britons moving to Spain to buy private medical insurance. There was much criticism of the restriction, as it was thought many expatriates would not have budgeted for health cover before moving to Spain. In particular, those who could not get private cover due to chronic illness (heart problems, diabetes, etc) voiced concern.