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

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  • COF
    COF Posts: 15 Forumite
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    giraffe69 wrote: »
    Outrageous that they want use their language in their country!

    British local authorities have plenty of forms available in common immigrant languages.

    As France is also a multicultural nation, I don't think it would be too much to ask to expect a form in English alongside French.
  • COF
    COF Posts: 15 Forumite
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    The NHS has to be the most accepting health care system in the world.

    Pretty much anyone can walk into an NHS hospital and be treated, no questions ask.

    This comes as a culture shock to British people who travel abroad and suddenly find that they're expected to provide all their paperwork and a verifiable means of paying before treatment can commence.

    In contrast, does the NHS even have the capacity to process insurance claims?
  • dggar
    dggar Posts: 670 Forumite
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    tagq2 wrote: »
    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.

    Well we'll soon have a similar system here
  • velissaria
    velissaria Posts: 68 Forumite
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    No need for such an amount of scaremongering and xenophobic generalisations.

    The original MSE article does not provide many details about the complaints and happenings. Maybe special circumstances applied (small towns with higher levels of ignorance by local officials, lack of knowledge of English language resulting in miscommunication, private company scams, etc.). I had no problems using my EHIC in Greece. In 2008, I remember, officials were not very well-informed about this, but I simply asked to see a manager and I provided a copy of the EHIC regulations. That resolved the problem. On the contrary, when I later contacted the NHS to reimburse me the cost of some emergency treatment, it was the NHS that tried to fob me off under the excuse that the treatment took place in a private centre. The reality was that the treatment took place in a centre with both private and public healthcare, and I had received treatment under the state healthcare. I persisted, and the NHS did reimburse me after many months.

    So, there are TWO sides in every "coin".

    Beware, that in some countries there is a fee even for emergency hospital treatment (e.g. currently 5 Euro in Greece) applied to everybody, except those on benefits.

    In addition, beware that Spain and Greece being in financial turmoil means that laws and regulations change often in these countries.

    The information provided here: http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthcareabroad/countryguide/Pages/healthcareinGreece.aspx
    is OUTDATED. The new NHS equivalent in Greece is now called "EOPYY".

    From the site of eopyy.gov.gr:
    "Information concerning insured persons from EU Member - States, EEA & Switzerland:
    Read the information leaflet , which contains all the information concerning insured persons from EU Member - States, EEA & Switzerland. You can also find all relevant forms here . "

    So, even if you are young and healthy,
    - do your homework before travelling aboard. Internet is a great tool.
    - Don't sign anything you don't understand.
    - Ask for an interpretor.
    - Keep a copy of EHIC EU regulations with you just in case.
    - keep all your receipts and information about the place you were treated.
    - know where your embassy is and how to contact them.
  • Pincher
    Pincher Posts: 6,552 Forumite
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    giraffe69 wrote: »
    Outrageous that they want use their language in their country!

    Hence needing ASSISTANCE with the translation, which the Travel Insurance document claims to have by saying "24 Hour Emergency Assistance Helpline".

    The relevance to this thread is that if a hospital dares to refuse the EHIC, I should be able to get someone from the HELPLINE to talk to the orderly, and ASSIST in getting treatment. If the insurance company refuses to go private, they should ASSIST in finding an alternative healthcare provider.
  • wolfman210
    wolfman210 Posts: 15 Forumite
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    The first entry on Google for re newing your EH1C wants to charge you £17 for the priviledge, Beware. it is free https://www.ehic.org.uk/Internet/startApplication.do
  • lilly1_2
    lilly1_2 Posts: 28 Forumite
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    the hospital in Benidorm at the top of the old town has been refusing these cards for years, we tried twice told we were in the wrong hospital try the one down the bank in pefect english then when you say i need to use this hospital they dont understand english and walk away ( nice):(

    we used it in corfu in 2004 no problem didnt even want to see the card if your english your covered that is all they said
  • DimitrisX
    DimitrisX Posts: 24 Forumite
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    There might be a few rural medical centres or GPs in Greece (fully or partially) unaware of the EU laws, since traditionally most doctors in smaller medical centres in the countryside would see everyone without even checking their eligibility (in the spirit of good health as a human right), so they never had to care about or even be aware of the EHIC. However, since the beginning of the crisis, they have had to conform with stricter regulations and so EHIC might be sth completely new for some of them. Anyway, the NHS can be much harder to deal with at times (let alone more complex...).
  • mcfisco
    mcfisco Posts: 1,955 Forumite
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    There's currently a campaign going on [part funded by the EU] run jointly between UK Department of Health and the Valencia Health Authority aimed at educated all concerned.

    http://www.healthcareinspain.eu/
    I have long known that it is part of God's plan for me to spend a little time with each of the most stupid people on earth.
  • bryanb
    bryanb Posts: 4,996 Forumite
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    I feel I should point out that it's not all bad in France.

    A friend of mine living on a boat travelling in the French canals had a triple heart bypass done using EHIC. It was an emergency procedure, to prevent his death. He was in hospital a couple of weeks and cannot speak highly enough of the system.

    This was not a friend of a friend said etc. This guy is my friend and I've known him many years.

    It may be significant that he was not in a tourist area.
    This is an open forum, anyone can post and I just did !
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