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

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  • geriann
    geriann Posts: 158 Forumite
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    is this happening in the Canary islands?
    because they'd "owned" by Spain.
  • brewerdave
    brewerdave Posts: 8,548 Forumite
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    geriann wrote: »
    is this happening in the Canary islands?
    because they'd "owned" by Spain.



    ....I had a painful ear infection about 4 years ago in Tenerife -produced my EHIC but it was waved away by the nurse who told me that this only applied for "emergencies" - wouldn't give me any treatment or my antibiotics til I produced a credit card -I then had the devil's own job getting anything back from my then travel insurer, so this isn't anything new in Spain!!
  • Pincher
    Pincher Posts: 6,552 Forumite
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    The "24 Hour Medical Emergency Assistance Helpline" from the Travel Insurance is an equally tragic joke. They only want you to call them so they can stop you from spending their money.

    The entire office didn't have a single person who could speak French! But they do want me to get a receipt from the hospital. They also wanted a police report, if I wanted to pursue the driver who caused the accident. I had to find the police station myself, who then wanted me to fill in the form, IN FRENCH.

    They have nobody in the office who could deal with anythng outside the UK. The girl I spoke to said they have no agent in Brussels.

    I would like BBC Watchdog to test all the Travel Insurance providers' so-called Assistance Helplines, and expose their total inability to HELP. All they have to do is call from a mobile and say they are in Spain, and ask for "some one in the office to help translate".

    I expect they will say they have a Lithuanian who can speak Russian as well, and a Polish guy who speaks Slovakian too.
  • giraffe69
    giraffe69 Posts: 3,564 Forumite
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    The entire office didn't have a single person who could speak French! But they do want me to get a receipt from the hospital. They also wanted a police report, if I wanted to pursue the driver who caused the accident. I had to find the police station myself, who then wanted me to fill in the form, IN FRENCH.

    Outrageous that they want use their language in their country!
  • Travellerz
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    I've just come back from living in France where, as an 'early retiree', it is still almost impossible to be accepted by their healthcare system (NHS Equivalent). What is more worrying is that for the 4 years I was living there France were cited on numerous occasions for being in contravention of European rules surrounding healthcare for European Citizens. The net result was because there are no sanctions against these European States for ignoring the rules which they don't agree with they simply carry on ignoring the law. I'm not confident that anything will change in Spain, Greece, France etc.....Travellers Beware!!
  • smala01
    smala01 Posts: 154 Forumite
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    Of course most insurers have a clause that you MUST use the EHIC card for in-EU treatment.

    Should the hospital refuse then its your problem... Insurers are most unlikely to honour a claim if you admit that you tried to use the card and the hospital refused.

    Smala01
  • tagq2
    tagq2 Posts: 382 Forumite
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    I'm not covered by travel insurance. Can I get my money back? Sadly, it's highly unlikely.
    Isn't that assuming quite a lot about Spanish and Greek law? If a salesperson comes out with bull to get you to sign a contract under English law, e.g. claiming that the wording says something other than what it actually says, then you may have grounds for civil action.

    Complaints from tourists centre around the EHIC being refused by public hospitals managed by one private firm.
    And there's the actual problem: allowing private firms into management of a state healthcare system. The problem isn't that the state lacks money - the NHS will reimburse costs anyway. The problem isn't with the EU - it's EU law which is being broken. The problem is that private companies want to profit more from your sickness, and are prepared to be dishonest to achieve that.
  • Wywth
    Wywth Posts: 5,079 Forumite
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    I think the UK government should call an end to free NHS treatment of any Spaniard or Greek until their own countries undertake to co-operate and abide by the EU law they expect us to.
  • derx
    derx Posts: 20 Forumite
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    I cannot say it is true for all of Portugal, as I live in Madeira, an island that is an autonomous region of Portugal.

    Here, since last year, and it was publicised openly in the local press, there is a change of policy for tourist / foreigner health treatment that is.

    1. If the person needing treatment has health / travel insurance that covers the treatment, then the hospital admin staff are instructed to use this option (It pays better and probably quicker)

    2. If the person does not have private insurance, then the EHIC is used as the second / last resort.

    3. If going to Funchal Hospital the 'URGENCIAS' will charge all users a fee of around 20€, except those deemed by the 'triagem' system of really being urgent. These fees are not (yet!!!) payable at local health centres who treat less serious injuries and illnesses, and also exist in Funchal and around the island.

    The idea is not to rip off tourists, but to try and generate some revenue in a health service that is stricken with debt and funding cuts. One could insist on using the EHIC system, but if private insurance can be used instead ... the island of Madeira thanks you.
    No Unapproved or Personal links in signatures please - FT3
  • COF
    COF Posts: 15 Forumite
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    The bottom line is British people who visit these countries need to be aware of their rights and insist on receiving them fully.

    Furthermore, don't sign anything without being fully aware of what it is.
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