Although blamed in the past for costing Spain money, expats don’t drain the health system in Murcia, actually they benefit from treating foreigners.
Although there is a longstanding myth in Spain that tourists and expatriates are a drain on the country’s health system, new reports have proved that in fact, at least in Murcia, they bring money in.
The authorities have revealed the region will pocket €22.4 million this year from agreements with other European countries regarding healthcare.
While €5.8 million of the amount is the amount due for treating tourists from overseas taken ill on holiday, the rest comes thanks to pensioners (mostly British and French) for each of whom Murcia Health System (SMS) is paid €216 per patient per month thanks to an agreement between the National Social Security Institute (INSS) and their countries of origin.
Although the situation changes concerning people from outside Europe, the health expenses they run up are relatively low (about €18,000 in 2011, the latest figure available) so do not break the bank.
Yet recent audits at the SMS show not all services are billed for. For years the service has lost unknown amounts for this reason but this is now changing.