British expats in Spain warned about healthcare registration

Published:  14 Nov at 2 PM
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The UK’s Department of Health has warned Spanish-based expats that they have to properly register with authorities in the country to make sure they have full protection in the state healthcare system.

“Moving to Spain? Think about Healthcare!” is the new video produced by the department. The video, which informs would be expats that the process can take weeks, also points out to Brits that the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will not act as cover as it is only meant for short-term visitors to the Iberian country.

The Department of Health estimates that there may be as many as 20,000 British pensioners who have failed to correctly register for healthcare in Spain. Furthermore, it revealed that just under 8,000 UK citizens were sent healthcare forms from Britain last year but didn’t register with the Spanish authorities.

Expats in Spain who have failed to register correctly are charged as private patients and can face monumental bills. The department has highlighted the case of a woman who had been treated for cancer in Gandia in Valencia and now has to pay the full costs.

The Department of Health’s head in Spain, Hannah Thronicker, has said Britons living in Spain must see the video and share it with their family and friends who are either living there or considering moving there.
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