THE UK Embassy in Spain has reassured Britons in Spain that plans to safeguard their right to healthcare in the country are well advanced.
The move comes after official UK government advice was published telling people to check on healthcare arrangements in each individual EU country they intend to visit after Brexit.
A report on the UK.GOV website says: “Travellers who intend to use their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) must check what the arrangement is with the specific country they are visiting as the card may not be valid. This advice also applies to students studying in the EU.”
It adds: “In addition, UK nationals should follow current advice from the government which recommends travellers take out separate travel insurance to cover any healthcare requirements needed in any country within the EU or outside. This is particularly advisable for travellers with a pre-existing or long-term health condition.”
However an Embassy spokesperson in Spain clarified the statement for UK nationals living in Spain, saying: “It is a priority for the UK’s Department of Health, and for the British Embassy in Madrid, to ensure UK nationals living or working in the EU can continue to access the healthcare they need as we exit the EU.
“We are working closely with Spain to make sure patients can continue to access healthcare, whatever the outcome. The Spanish government has already announced that it is planning contingency measures to guarantee healthcare provisions to UK nationals living in Spain starting on the date of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU if there is no agreement, on a reciprocal basis.”
Spain is bringing forward a law giving the Spanish President the power to guarantee British nationals access to healthcare under the current system in the event of a no deal – providing there’s a reciprocal agreement based on current access.
The Embassy adds that for more information on Spain’s Brexit contingency measures, including on healthcare, people should visit: http://www.lamoncloa.gob.es/lang/en/brexit/howtoprepare/Paginas/citizens.aspx