Cough up, or croak

IF visiting Cataluña or Valencia don’t forget to bring your own medical prescriptions as acquiring them when confronting your ‘doc in a box’ is likely to be problematic.

In an effort to stay within strict budget controls these regions are placing restrictions on non-locals seeking healthcare. When visiting it will not be easy to see a specialist and those with chronic illness are being advised to bring their medicines with them. Beds too?

Under EU law healthcare in Spain is supposed to be universal and free but as with much else Spain loves to pick an’ mix which laws it abides by. In Catalonia there has been a 25 per cent drop in the number of prescriptions handed out. It looks like we will have to cough up, or croak.

Meanwhile, there might be some old enough to remember when the County of Kent was known as the Garden of England. Much of the produce at the corner shops, before they were run by the Patel family, was home-grown; indeed many people grew their own, and we are not talking cannabis.

Spain pushed Kent aside and there’s little difference in the sources of produces in supermarkets nowadays; much of it is grown in Spain. Now the Spaniards too are being targeted: It is surprising to learn that Spain’s imports of fruit and vegetable have surged by 7 per cent this year.

Potatoes and garlic lead the field whilst mangoes are up by a third. It’s all bananas to me; oh yes; Spanish imports of bananas are up by 49 per cent.

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