First of all , it’s important to
state that the EHIC, which replaced the old E111 in 2006, is suitable for
visits to Spain only. If you live in Spain, the EHIC has no validity
whatsoever, however this blog we did back in 2008 regarding health
certificates for Spanish residents might be able to help you.
There has been some bad publicity
recently, where some UK travelers to Spain have claimed they have been forced
to pay for medical treatment, despite producing their proper EHIC. The European
Commission is looking into these claims and undoubtedly there will be a
pronouncement about their findings soon.
In the meantime, it can be reported
that the EHIC is a personal and non-transferable document that certifies the
holder’s entitlement to receive any necessary medically related health benefits
needed during their stay in Europe, in accordance with the legislation of the
country being visited (that is access to the same subsidised state health
treatment that the locals receive).
It should never happen, but just
case your EHIC is declined, here’s a guide to the steps you should take –
Ask to talk to the Billing
Manager, and tell him you know the EHIC refusal in not correct.
Ask for an “Hoja Reclamacion”. That’s a complaint form that hospitals
hate to have produced about their performance, so at this point they are likely
to give way.
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If they do not, say that you are going to call the regional delegation,
to denounce their treatment of you, and tell them you are going to call the
British Consulate too. They usually have emergency numbers. Remember though –
if you do not have your EHIC, a passport does not entitle you to healthcare of
Remember too that the EHIC doesn’t
cover you for emergency repatriation, if you are injured or taken ill. It
doesn’t help if you have to rent accommodation, or doesn’t cover the cost of
someone travelling from the UK to be with you until you are fit to travel, and
their stay in a hotel room up to that time. Some decent travel insurance
alongside your EHIC is highly recommended.
If you are resident in Moraira -
Teulada Spain you might like to know that there are three ambulance services.
You have the Civil Protection based in Moraira, the Red Cross ambulance in
Teulada and the ambulance service by the hospital Levante IMED, also based in
Teulada, Tel: 965 741 531. Alternatively, you could dial the national emergency
number 112 and ask for “English” you can advise where you live and
they will contact the nearest available ambulance for you. You can also become a member of the Teulada
Red Cross, whom you could also call directly on Tel: 965 740 950. More info
regarding this service can be found here