Does the European Health Insurance Card give you free medical treatment in Spain?

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 –

1.    Ask to talk to the Billing Manager, and tell him you know the EHIC refusal in not correct.

2.   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.

3.   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 any kind.

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



Posted by on Sunday 4th August 2013

Anthony Bloom is the founder of the Moraira based Spanish Property Sales C.B business.
Established in 2002, Anthony and his partner Sally Bloom have dedicated themselves to the needs of the property purchaser. You can see their client testimonials! and their Google+ page

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