MSE News: Warning as EHICs illegally declined in Spain and Greece

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"Holidaymakers needing medical treatment in Spain and Greece should beware of having their EHIC unlawfully refused..."
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Warning as EHICs illegally declined in Spain and Greece

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  • COF
    COF Posts: 15 Forumite
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    This has been happening for years. Just look at those Benidorm ER shows on Channel 5 where all the Brits are carted off to private hospitals without being informed that they are entitled to free health care under the Spanish state system.

    People are then forced to unduly worry about whether their insurance will pay out or not while being completely unaware that legally they have every right to be treated on the Spanish state system.

    Sadly the Spanish seem to see the British and other Northern European tourists as cash cows and take every opportunity to fleece them as a result of their lack of knowledge of Spanish law and their legal rights in Spain.

    You might except such dishonest behavior from an unscrupulous market trader, but the fact the Spanish heath care system is also involved in similar practices takes it to a whole new low.
  • Pincher
    Pincher Posts: 6,552 Forumite
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    Had an accident years ago. Showed my E111 to the African orderly (skinny guy), in a Brussels hospital (Heart of the EU) who didn't understand what it was. Charged me about £90, got a receipt. Tried to claim on Travel Insurance back in the UK. After £50 excess, got back about £40.

    Years later, took an Italian student with his Italian issued EHIC card to Moorfield Eye Hospital (London).The African orderly (a skinny guy again) didn't know what it was, and insisted on payment details before proceeding.

    Maybe the same skinny guy is now working in Spain?
  • bryanb
    bryanb Posts: 4,995 Forumite
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    COF wrote: »
    legally they have every right to be treated on the Spanish state system..

    Not really, they are entitled to EMERGENCY treatment only, on the same basis as a Spanish national
    This is an open forum, anyone can post and I just did !
  • COF
    COF Posts: 15 Forumite
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    bryanb wrote: »
    Not really, they are entitled to EMERGENCY treatment only, on the same basis as a Spanish national

    I gather most of these cases would be emergencies.
  • bryanb
    bryanb Posts: 4,995 Forumite
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    COF wrote: »
    I gather most of these cases would be emergencies.

    Then they would need to refuse a private ambulance and insist on a state one. Very difficult to do if you don't know the language/system.
    This is an open forum, anyone can post and I just did !
  • COF
    COF Posts: 15 Forumite
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    On the whole it doesn't surprise me this is happening. The Spanish are starting to get funny about British people accessing health care in Spain and it's starting to become something of an issue in Spanish politics.

    Many Spanish people are poorly informed about how the EHIC works, and seem to be largely unaware that the NHS REIMBURSES the Spanish government.

    They think the Brits just come over to Spain and sponge off the state, and therefore resent the fact that they appear to get free health care.

    Ironically, about a month or so ago Spanish doctors staged a demonstration in Madrid against government plans to refuse treatment to illegal immigrants.

    So it's ok to swindle a Brit, but not an illegal immigrant?
  • callum9999
    callum9999 Posts: 4,392 Forumite
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    COF wrote: »
    On the whole it doesn't surprise me this is happening. The Spanish are starting to get funny about British people accessing health care in Spain and it's starting to become something of an issue in Spanish politics.

    Many Spanish people are poorly informed about how the EHIC works, and seem to be largely unaware that the NHS REIMBURSES the Spanish government.

    They think the Brits just come over to Spain and sponge off the state, and therefore resent the fact that they appear to get free health care.

    Ironically, about a month or so ago Spanish doctors staged a demonstration in Madrid against government plans to refuse treatment to illegal immigrants.

    So it's ok to swindle a Brit, but not an illegal immigrant?

    Just like the Brits think all other Europeans come over to the UK to sponge off the state. I'm getting sick to death of this continent now - it would work so well if there wasn't so much ridiculous nationalism and xenophobia within it!

    I'd imagine Spanish doctors are a little more rational and caring than the average Spanish citizen. But even if it was the same doctors moaning about treating Britons, in 99% of cases illegal immigrants are more reliant on free healthcare than Brits so would suffer far more than us if it was taken away.
  • chattychappy
    chattychappy Posts: 7,302 Forumite
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    Let's just get out of the EU!
  • SaveTheEuro
    SaveTheEuro Posts: 971 Forumite
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    Let's just get out of the EU!

    Or better still, just enforce EU law.
  • Kite2010
    Kite2010 Posts: 4,304 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Home Insurance Hacker! Car Insurance Carver!
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    Chances of spain listening to the EU, not a chance. They will only take notice if the EU takes away funding for useless projects
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