Ambassador rejects health tourism claims

A LETTER by HM Ambassador Giles Paxman to the editor of Spanish daily ABC was published by the newspaper.

In his letter, Paxman rejected suggestions printed in ABC that the British Embassy is encouraging ‘health tourism’.

In his letter Paxman wrote that British nationals visiting or residing in Spain are “of course entitled to access the Spanish healthcare system, just as Spanish nationals in the UK are entitled to access the British healthcare system.”

He added that “British visitors make up approximately 24% of the total number of tourists visiting Spain.

It is in the clear interest of both the UK and Spain that they should receive medical attention if they urgently need it.

By ensuring that they know how to access the Spanish healthcare system, we can avoid unnecessary administrative costs for both Spain and the UK, and ensure that the UK can reimburse Spain accurately and efficiently in line with the specific provisions set out in EU legislation.”

The Embassy website advice makes clear, he wrote, that the European Health Insurance Card does not cover those who come to Spain for the specific purpose of health treatment.

Photo credit: © EWN

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