Jobless woman given €20,797 bill for cancer op

A WOMAN has been sent a bill for €20,797 for a cancer operation she underwent in February.

The 52-year-old Chinese woman was diagnosed with ovarian and rectal cancer and although she did not have a Health Card, she underwent the operation at Alicante General Hospital.

The operation took six hours and she had to remain in hospital for two weeks and will be having chemotherapy until September.

Now, her Spanish partner has received a bill for the operation under Services Not Covered by the National Health System.

He is unemployed and receives €800 per month.

She has been living in Spain illegally without a permit for more than two years and has no work, meaning she isn’t entitled to a health card.

As her partner is not currently paying into the Social Security, she was not entitled to be on his card either.

She later asked for the ‘solidarity card’ for people without resources, but because she is registered as living with her partner, their joint income put them about the limit for which this card is granted.

However, she is now registered as living alone and has received the card, which will allow her to save some money on the rest of the treatment until September when the government’s new measures come into effect.

Her partner said that he never even considered not signing the documents he was given for her treatment which were in his name.

“It was her only option” he says.

Medicos del Mundo is now attempting to help the couple.

By Jennifer Leighfield

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