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Pensioners To Pay 10% Of The Cost Of Their Medicines
19 April 2012 @ 20:17

Spanish Government proposing and expecting to pass Royal Decree:-

This follows a week of announcements about the provision of health services, including a debate about Health Tourism.

Government ‘is to study establishing previous requirements’ to limit the access of the foreigners to the health service, and ‘to better control the so-called health tourism’.

"Ministry for Health is studying introducing criteria such as ‘a minimum period of residence or tax contributions’ so being on the padron local census would no long be enough."

Source: TypicallySpanish

Also read http://www.costa-news.com/content/view/9482/1/



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24 Comments


Chris Bradley said:
21 April 2012 @ 08:36

I certainly hope that foreigners will still be able to use the health services. We moved out here 5 years ago just before they withdrew the free health service and had to pay for private medical insurance until we were pensionable age. We have been receiving this service for almost a year and find could be withdrawn. We have always done everything legally since moving to Spain and in fact pay more income tax than we would in the UK.
If you add to this, the fact that if we were Spaniards moving to the UK we would get NHS free (which we have paid many years for) and as pensioners we help the Spanish ecomony, I think this is a very underhand move.


Peter Roberts said:
21 April 2012 @ 10:16

Firstly, this subject is only a proposal at present although it is likely to be passed as a new law.
I understand that if the law is passed then pensioners, including ex-pat pensioners who are legally registered in Spain and have a health service number will have to pay a one off monthly charge for medicines of between 8 and 18 euros. It will not be a charge for every item. I also understand that there will be a sort of means test to ascertain the monthly amount.
I also understand that the British health service pay a sum of money each year to the Spanish health system to compensate for the fact that we have not contributed to the Spanish sytem during our working lives. I do not know the exact amount but believe the figure is 4000€. So we are already in effect paying the state for our medicines and health service. I hope that the Government reailse this before they issue new rules which affect us ex pats!


K. Thompson said:
21 April 2012 @ 10:22

Surely, under EU Law, they cannot withdraw, or refuse, free medical care for European ex-pats of pensionable age?


Caris said:
21 April 2012 @ 11:33

It is about time this goverment put some sense into system and start charging all those European foreigners including the UK some money for a service such as hip operation, heart problems, alcohol and smoking relate illneses,medication, child birth, children treatments, etc, ect .
These treatments can cost lots of money to the National Heath Service in Spain which is paid in general by spanish and not by the free users that are coming to Spain for lots of drink and a long or short holiday and always they are coming with the idea that everything should be free for them as "now " they are in Europe and many of these free users are from countries that are "suppossed to be" much better than Spain, these are the Bristish, Germans, Dannish, Duch, Swedish and so on...When you try go to their own country and do the same thing, it works out that we have to pay for the health service or we have to show them lots of papers work, + the European card many times does not worked, and most of the time you end up paying for the service but sometime it is better to take private medical insurance just to be in the safe side.
In general Europe does not worked, as every EEC country has got its own rules and tax system. But also I will say that all this continuos abuse has turned the Spanish Health Service to the same level as they UK, ( As I have worked legally for over 15 years in the UK) hospitals and doctors are having a long waiting list to see you family doctor, a specialised doctor, not beds in hospitals, wrong diagnosis, closing of hospitals, having someone with you when you are in hospital because of the work load of the nurse having not time to see the patient.
It is really sad but all the spanish nationals including pensioners,children, students and unemployed will have to pay for it, as well . and they do not complain as much as they fellow Europeans living in Spain.
Reference to the comment above; I think this person has not got a clue about how the European Health Service Works, in the UK if you do not pay you do not get seen by a doctor but if you PAY TAXES into the system then you will get a doctor as simple as it could be. Now, If you are british living in the UK and do not want to work then you get every single thing for free including rent pay, child benefit, umenployment...etc...It does not work the same as being an Europeans in the UK as from people coming from Common Wealth Countries, you should know that as you are from UK. They have got differnt rules and laws that does not applied to ECC members.
So to me, it is a brilliant news that all the European living in Spain for free, they will be considered as equal as the spanish and not to be treated with a better medical service when they have not contributed an Euro into the system.So rules are pay or not get a doctor. These rules will apply to the EEC not register pensioners, illegal time share workers working illegally in Spain for many years and dealing with UK clients in England and other parts of EEC, children, students and unemployed, etc, etc. Another think about UK, a spanish pensioner going to England cannot received free consultation if the paper are not corret.





David H said:
21 April 2012 @ 11:54

The danger is that Spanish nationals, including those who work in the health service, are now 'on message' that foreigners should be treated with suspicion before they are treated medically!
Try telling a hospital administrator that you are entitled under EU Law to receive free treatment when the hospital is deeply indebted to the pharmaceutical companies and operating under austerity measures.


Gerry Blank said:
21 April 2012 @ 12:02

Caris, you have totally lost me with all that stuff, all that I want from the Spanish Government, is the same treatment that I would get in my country of Origin , i;e; England, as per E.U. agreements? I do not have to pay Prescription charges in England ,I worked in England for 50 years paying Tax`es etc, whats the problem ?, surely if I needed a Hip Replacement, the British Government would re-emburse the Spanish Health System, for the cost of the Operation , at least that is my understanding? if the Spanish Government are now going to charge every Ex-Pat from what ever their Origen, then perhaps this latest Development wiith every thing else that is happening here in Spain ,it`s time to start thinking of returning to England!


Helen H said:
21 April 2012 @ 12:17

Carl you are complety wrong. The British Government pay for our treatment here in Spain. Just as other European governments who have the same agreement pay for their ex-pats with reciprocal agreements. Ie the Polish government pay for their ex-pats who are having so called free dental treatment in England because dental treatment is free in Poland.
I believe that the Spanish govenment could run into problems with the EU if they tried to claim payment twice.


Helen H said:
21 April 2012 @ 12:23

Caris you are complety wrong. The British Government pay for our treatment here in Spain. Just as other European governments who have the same agreement pay for their ex-pats with reciprocal agreements. Ie the Polish government pay for their ex-pats who are having so called free dental treatment in England because dental treatment is free in Poland.
I believe that the Spanish govenment could run into problems with the EU if they tried to claim payment twice.The problem is that the public do not know the truth that our treatment is being paid for by our own government. The same problem occurs in England where they think all foreigners are "freeloading" The truth should be made common knowledge


Alan Hogg said:
21 April 2012 @ 12:28

So what's the point the the EU then. Does it mean that we as ex-pats are not in a 'family of nations'? As well as our Government paying much more into the EU pot than we get out, they also pay the Spanish NHS for the treatment of ex-pats who are pensioned, whilst those of working age have to pay either private insurance or €240 p.m. as a social security payment to get treatment which Spaniards get for nothing in the UK, because the UK runs a residence requirement whilst Spain is a contribution requirement. It seems to me that it's the EU and individual countries making rules, once again, that only the UK adheres to.


DonLochnagar said:
21 April 2012 @ 13:13

It has been my intention to relocate to Spain and invest in a business, paying taxes and employing Spaniards. However as I have some underlying health problems and won't be able to get private insurance, I won't be doing it if I can't guarantee that my health will be looked after. So, how does that help Spain and it's economy?


Caprala said:
21 April 2012 @ 13:18

If the health service goes for expats then I for one would go back to blighty. Doesnt this Spanish Government know that their countries demise is due to the British not coming to Spain. The British had their land taken their houses pulled down. They paid deposits for properties that were never built. Urbanisations that were never given Habitation Certificates and had to use Builder's electric. How much more can the British take. Our Government pay for us (Pensioners) to get a medical service and they also pay for all operations.


Lizzie said:
21 April 2012 @ 17:10

I've been trying to find out the real facts about how much Britain pays for each British pensioner here in Spain.

Does anyone know if Britain pays the 3800 euros (or near abouts, apparently it's the average cost of a Spanish pensioner) per British person registered on the Padron or just those registered with a doctor?

Do they send the supposed 550 million euros PER YEAR to Madrid, to where? the Gov. ?

Then does Madrid spread it out depending on how many pensioners are registered at each medical centre?

I really want to be able to tell the moody doctors here as they turned around and told me 'that all the Brits come here for free healthcare and it's not fair as Spanish people have been paying all their lives into the system'. !! It's another case of them just not knowing the facts. I've sat in waiting rooms to help translate and have to listen to the local oldies making comments about the number of Brits here using their system.

If Britain is funding this medical help, and if it whittles down to each town receiving CASH from the UK then we should be shouting it from the rooftops!!!!

I'm getting quite fed up, and i'm married to a Spaniard!, about all this Brit bashing because we seem to have stopped buying overpriced properties and they don't have any boom time contruction work!

I agree, there will be more British people in the hospital wards with other spanish pensioners....but look at the maternity wards and you'll see Ecudorians, Morocans, Africans, Romanians.

How much do other countries pay Spain? Does Senegal? If illegal immigrants pitch up off a boat pregnant does their country pay for the birth care?

It's not racist but it isn't nice to hear that us British are here 'using their system' when our country is actually funding.

We need real, true facts and figures. I want to know if my local medical centre here in Almeria region gets, say, 150,000k per year because it has X amount of British pensioners registered.

If they only receive the money if people register on the Padron then everyone retired needs to sign up on that Padron!!!

Who are these people they talk about who show up on holiday for a week and then demand an operation? They are probably the type of benefit fraud scum that decent British people don't care much for either. Make them pay or turn them away.

Let's get it in the press if it's true that Britain is paying nearly half a billion euros to Spain for healthcare per year!!!!!


Dennis said:
21 April 2012 @ 18:35

Here, here Lizzie, Brit bashing seems to be on the increase. My wife and I, have been here for four years and love it. We do not take anything off the Spanish Government but buy the goods needed to live....no complaints.....We have applied from England for the medical papers needed to get free Health care, the woman on the phone was very helpful so, this is what we will be doing until told different. If all the brits were to Leave Spain??????????


AJ said:
21 April 2012 @ 19:41

what about UK pensioners 'trying' to reclaim any money we may have to pay out for prescriptions from the UK ??!!


Neil M said:
22 April 2012 @ 05:51

I am retired and visit Spain 6 times a year for holidays. I always take out health insurance and so far have allways paid through this for any health problems I have had while on holiday.
I do have a heart problem that my health insurance will not cover but with the reciprical E.U cover I can come on holiday and not worry about a massive bill shold I need emergancy treatment.
I am not a freeloader and was always of the opinion that if I needed emergancy treatment that Spain would recoup this cost from the U.K.
If this cover is removed then I will not take the risk of ending up with a massive health bill and will no longer come to Spain for my holidays. I am sure many other Brits are in the same position as myself.
If Spain goes ahead with these proposals then they will shoot themselves in the foot. They are already having problems because many Brits no longer come to Spain. What hope is there for Benidorm,Torremolinous ,Salou and the like without the Brits and what about the Dutch and Germans as well .I am sure they will also do the same and vote with their feet. At this rate Spain is doomed to rvert to the pre Franco days. God help them without tourism.


Jenny said:
22 April 2012 @ 10:27


Hardly Brit bashing as Spanish pensioners will be paying exactly the same!


M said:
22 April 2012 @ 11:21

And those of us who work in Spain but are foreigners? I pay huge amounts of tax on my paltry wage and now I am treated with suspicion on accessing the health services with people saying just because I hold a British passport, I should pay for my health care? I don't think the Seguridad social will be best pleased if I refuse to pay them.


Anne said:
22 April 2012 @ 12:41

The bottom line to all of this is the need for transparency of the rules and regulations. The real facts need to be known and reported widely to all citizens and professionals within the Health Services of both countries if this "protectionist" pscyche and its knock on effects is to be halted in its tracks.
It's really sad to witness Spaniards and Brits at one anothers throats, especially if there is misinformation at the root cause of this. It's an equal playing field that appears to be in question here.
There appears to be much ignorance about the realities of all manner of aspects associated with cross border issues, and the sooner all member states can bring clarity and FAIR conformity to these sort of issues, the better, as far as I'm concerned. Isn't that what the EU were supposed to be controlling, to ensure one member state does not take greater advantage of the rules than any other?
I live in hope that debates on forums such as this can be one means of educating one another and who knows, where applicable, it might even lead to greater fairness through reform, so long live EOS!!!!
Here's hoping that any unfairness in the Health Service across Europe can be halted in its tracks, IF the factual evidence proves it to be necessary.... but in the meantime it's really important to identify mis-information wherever it occurs.



Anne said:
22 April 2012 @ 13:36

The bottom line to all of this is the need for transparency of the rules and regulations. The real facts need to be known and reported widely to all citizens and professionals within the Health Services of both countries if this "protectionist" pscyche and its knock on effects is to be halted in its tracks.
It's really sad to witness Spaniards and Brits at one anothers throats, especially if there is misinformation at the root cause of this. It's an equal playing field that appears to be in question here.
There appears to be much ignorance about the realities of all manner of aspects associated with cross border issues, and the sooner all member states can bring clarity and FAIR conformity to these sort of issues, the better, as far as I'm concerned. Isn't that what the EU were supposed to be controlling, to ensure one member state does not take greater advantage of the rules than any other?
I live in hope that debates on forums such as this can be one means of educating one another and who knows, where applicable, it might even lead to greater fairness through reform, so long live EOS!!!!
Here's hoping that any unfairness in the Health Service across Europe can be halted in its tracks, IF the factual evidence proves it to be necessary.... but in the meantime it's really important to identify mis-information wherever it occurs.



Margaret F said:
22 April 2012 @ 17:19

Very good comments from Gerry Blank & Caprala
My husband and I came to live here in Spain 7 years ago looking for a better/and healthier life. We bought a property plus we had to pay a lot of money to get it up to the standard we was used to in the UK. At that time we asked English people to do the work (and was ripped off) We are Residents from day one.
Now through all the problems we have had to endure over the years our health is deteriorating.
We must admit we have no trouble with the health service here to date at all, in fact the treatment is very good!
We have used up all our life's savings and now with this news about the charges for prescriptions ect. we are worried what is going to happen to us, if we could sell our place which is very unlikely because the Spanish want buy the property for next to nothing and they will wait for property prices to rise then sell them back to the English for treble the price they paid!
If we went back to the UK we would be treated like second class citizens (Which is how PENSIONERS are being treated there now! What is happening? We hope these proposed charges don't happen.
WELCOME TO SUNNY SPAIN FOR A BETTER HEALTHIER LIFE ?????


Margaret F said:
22 April 2012 @ 17:20




Neil Martin said:
23 April 2012 @ 11:59

I have had a 120,000 euros stolen from me by the fraudulent the Spanish Developer called Aifos. A good percentage of which I assume has be taken in wages and tax paid to the Spanish Government?

To hear this Spanish "protectionism" now being spouted, really does make me laugh. What a farce this ridiculous notion of the EU has been. All it has done has allowed the big 3, Germany, France and Britain, pour BILLIONS into the latin portion, giving them a fantastic infrastructure, certainly better than in the UK, for them to squander on greedy false booms and now sit with their hands out, waiting for us to sort it out for them!


Jane T said:
06 November 2012 @ 17:47




Jane T said:
06 November 2012 @ 18:07

As pensions living in Spain 8yrs - we now have to pay 10% for our medication. TODAY we find that the Farmacias are all closed. It's bad enough that you have to take medication without having the extra worry of how to get it. I'm not blaming the Farmacia - they have not been paid by the Government since the beginning of the year. If England say that they are paying Spain €4.267 for each Ex-pat and paying on time how have we ended up in this mess - or is it down to greed again?


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