Spain: D He health knows no Limits

In Spain, persons without a valid residence permit are to receive full access to the public health system. The opposition fears A 34; health tourism 34;.

Spain:  D He health knows no Limits

The Spanish Parliament has adopted a decree that persons without a valid residence permit, as well as Spanish citizens, should be given full access to public health system. In vote re were 177 votes in favour, 133 against votes and 31 abstentions. For text voted deputies of government coalition under socialist Pedro Sánchez, on or hand voted Conservatives of Partido Popular (PP). The members of Liberal Party Ciudadanos abstained.

Sánchez conservative predecessor Mariano Rajoy had restricted access of migrants to public health system in 2012 during economic and financial crisis. When Socialists took over government in June at head of a coalition, y announced that y would take back this measure. "Health knows no borders, no identity document, no work or residence permit," Health Minister Carmen Montón said in a parliamentary debate. The conservative opposition accused government of "opening doors of Spain to health tourism".

It is doubtful that good health care is a pull factor. 2015 and 2016, for example, significantly more people came to Germany, where access to health care system is restricted in first 15 months, than to Austria, Switzerland or France, where access to health care is not restricted (Lancet Correspondence: Bozorgmehr Razum, 2016). Spain is now main country of arrival for refugees in EU, although access to health is restricted re until decree enters into force.

In principle, unrestricted access to health care is enshrined in numerous international agreements. Article 25 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that everyone has " right to a standard of living that ensures health and well-being for his and his family." The Colombo Declaration, which envoys of World Health Organization (WHO) and International Organization for Migration (IOM), drafted at beginning of 2017, provides for "equitable and non-discriminatory access and coverage with Health care.

Updated Date: 07 September 2018, 12:00

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