Medical attention for tourists costs Almeria €2.7m

MEDICAL attention for tourists costs Almeria province an annual €2.7 million.

This sum includes Spanish tourists from other autonomous communities whose treatment has to be met from the budget of the region where they are taken ill, as well as foreign tourists and those with private insurance.

Last year the Andalucia health service SAS set aside €26 million to cover the cost on non-residents’ treatment. In Andalucia no limits or bureaucratic restrictions were applied to patients from other autonomies needing to see a doctor, said sources at the Provincial Health Delegation.

Malaga attends to more “desplazados” than any other province, but Almeria and Huelva also see very high numbers of patients who are treated exactly the same as locals, said an official.  “That is the way it has to be, in accordance with the General Health Law of 1986,” he said.

This is in direct contrast to the Health service in Valencia or Cataluña, for instance, where obstacles are put in the way of non-resident patients to offset spending cuts

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