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SPANISH TOURISTS COST HEALTH SERVICES DEAR

It is not only foreign visitors to Spain that find themselves ill. Domestic tourists also place a huge burden on the health system. When a Spaniard falls ill in another part of Spain, it is down to the local authority to foot the bill for their healthc…

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It is not only foreign visitors to Spain that find themselves ill. Domestic tourists also place a huge burden on the health system. When a Spaniard falls ill in another part of Spain, it is down to the local authority to foot the bill for their healthcare.

In 2010, this figure amounted to 26 million euro in Andalucía alone, which is the chosen destination for most domestic tourists.

A representative of the Malaga health services said that Spanish visitors are treated equally, irrespective of their residency situation, or any administrative complications, “They are treated exactly the same as the local Malaga residents. That’s the only way it can be, as it is established in the General Health Law of 1986”. Article 3.2 of this law states that all the Spanish population have equal rights to health care.

However, reports by the Federation of Associations for the Defence of Public Health Care suggests that in other areas, some health authorities are cutting corners when it comes to tourist health care.

The organisation claims that visitors from other regions are often faced with problems when seeking care at health centres and hospitals in Cataluña, Alicante and Valencia. Some patients have reported that they have been refused prescriptions or medications and in other places, ill people have been refused appointments for consultations.

Local authorities in Andalucía at least have said that they will still continue to offer a high level of service to every Spaniard, irrespective of cost.

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